We knew it was getting closer. The proliferation of furniture stores that were now surrounding us meant it had to be near. But we weren’t looking for a place that sold furniture: we were looking for a place that was furniture. Finally, we saw it up ahead and pulled over into a lot across the street. There this roadside attraction was in all its oversized glory: the world’s largest chest of drawers in High Point, North Carolina.
When planning my road trip through North Carolina, this giant piece of furniture was on the top of my must-see list. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. The huge cartoon-like structure, complete with oversized drawers and golden pulls and a pair of mismatched socks, towered over both us, the traffic lights, and the nearby buildings.
First built in the 1920s by the High Point Chamber of Commerce, the biggest chest in the world pays homage to the town’s status as the “Home Furnishing Capital of the World.” But it wasn’t always a “chest of drawers.”
The first incarnation of this huge chest of drawers was just 32-feet tall, and then only because the 20-foot dresser was topped with a giant “mirror” turned billboard. The World’s Largest Bureau (or just “Big Bureau”) was a building painted white that served as the town’s Bureau of Information.
In a 1996 renovation of the world’s largest dresser was reimagined: more levels were added, creating the 38-foot tall dresser that stands there today.
And that wasn’t the only renovation the High Point chest of drawers has received over the years. Around 2016 the roadside attraction was painted a flat gray (losing the brown wood grain) and the socks neon orange and green. It gave the High Point dresser a more cartoonish look that most agreed wasn’t their favorite.
Luckily, in 2019, the World’s biggest chest was given a new coat of paint that restored it to it’s former, more natural, facade, with a dark brown wood-grain finish and two socks: one brown, one gray argyle.
This was not just a chest though, and it wasn’t just your run of the mill roadside attraction, the giant chest of drawers was actually a building. A building that, at the time we visited, was for sale. As we admired the North Carolina roadside attraction from across the street, my friend and I pondered buying it. I mean, think of all the clothes we could store!
Alas, I could barely afford a regular-sized dresser, let alone the largest chest in the world, so we got back in the car and drove on, on to see other giant silly furniture in the area: the World’s Largest Duncan Phyfe Chair and the Giant Highboy Chest.
World’s Largest Chest of Drawers in High Point, North Carolina
Address: 508 N Hamilton St, High Point, NC 27262
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always Visible