Furniture Mart Building Needs To Once Again Be A Centerpiece Of Downtown Jamestown
News that the city is moving ahead with a Restore New York grant application for the Furniture Mart building is welcome news for a building that was once one of Jamestown’s crown jewels.
From the early 1800s until the mid-1900s, Jamestown was well-known for its furniture industry, earning the nickname “The Furniture Capital of the World,” as a result of its booming furniture manufacturing industry. As the city’s reputation for producing quality furniture increased, the Furniture Mart Building was designed in the early 1900s. The property was constructed to showcase the region’s furniture and hold expositions. Construction on the corner of West Second and Washington streets began in 1916 and was completed in 1917. For decades the Furniture Mart building was used by the city’s furniture makers to show off new furniture, making the building a cornerstone of commerce for the city’s biggest industry.
As the furniture industry’s good fortunes waned, so too did the Furniture Mart. It’s primarily been used most recenly for commercial office space, but is in desparate need of investment.
The Restore New York grant process is incredibly competitive, but in our view the Furniture Mart should be a strong candidate for funding. Jamestown is struggling to rebuild its downtown, and doing so is difficult with the Furniture Mart building in its current state. The fact there is an interested developer is a good piece of news for downtown Jamestown.