High Point Homes For Sale

High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of the state of North Carolina. Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring RandolphDavidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina’s only city that extends into four counties. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 104,371, with an estimated population of 108,629 in 2014. It is currently the ninth-largest municipality in North Carolina.

High Point is known for its furnituretextiles, and bus manufacturing. The city is sometimes referred to as the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World”. The city’s official slogan is “North Carolina’s International City” due to the semi-annual High Point Furniture Market that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world.

It is home to three universities: High Point University, a private Methodist-affiliated institution founded in 1924; South University; and John Wesley University, a private interdenominational Christian university.

Furniture History and Market

High Point was an early center for the development of the furniture industry in the South. Functional furniture had been produced on a small scale since the 17th century by artisans of English ancestry who had settled in North Carolina. As the farming landscape of the South began to change with the end of the Civil War and slavery, cheap labor became available during the Reconstruction Era. The North Carolina furniture industry gained momentum in the late 19th century, and developers were attracted to High Point for its location, transportation, and cheap labor. The city was situated ideally in the center of the Piedmont region with access to vast hardwood forests in the central and western parts of the state. Located at the junction of the railroad and a main state road, was an ideal centralized shipping point for the southern market. An agricultural depression of the 1890s drove farm workers from the countryside to developing towns like High Point looking for industrial jobs.

Factories were needed to produce affordable wooden household furniture for the southern market. The first furniture company, the High Point Furniture Manufacturing Company, was formed in 1889. Subsequently, from 1890-1900, 38 new furniture factories opened in the state, with 13 of those in High Point. The Southern Railway line was formed in 1894, and HP was shipping eight fully loaded freight cars of furniture each day by 1898. By the turn of the century, High Point had become the leading furniture center in the South, with over 40 furniture companies located within the city and the surrounding area. Meanwhile, other manufacturers set up local factories to provide related products like veneers, plate glass, mirrors, paint, and locks to furniture companies.

The large profits in the North Carolina furniture industry lessened with the increasing number of factories. In addition to the increased competition for market shares, by 1910 the salary for competent experienced workers and rising shipping costs had cut further into the profit. Bankruptcies resulted from inexperienced managers who tried to sell products below the cost of production and companies that tried to expand too quickly. An innovative High Point company, Tomlinson Chair Co., devised incentives to give its workforce an opportunity to receive part of the profits. The company was one of the first to manufacture quality period reproduction dining and living room furniture on a large scale; an employee who exceeded a monthly quota received a percentage bonus. All workers received a life insurance policy as well.

Marketing became important to the phenomenal rise of the furniture industry in North Carolina in the twentieth century. Store owners had to visit the factory to select their orders due to the large size and weight of the furniture. This situation improved at the turn of the century with the mass marketing and sales of North Carolina furniture from the catalogues of Sears Roebuck and Co. At the same time, competitors in large cities like New York and Chicago held a national exposition twice a year to display the manufacturers’ products and to take orders from furniture dealers and buyers. Recognizing the need for a more convenient southern location,  furniture manufacturers began planning for an exposition to display and sell their product to the public. The first North Carolina furniture exposition was held in High Point in 1905. In 1921, a brand new Southern Furniture Exhibition Building was built with ten stories and 249,000 square feet (23,100 m2) at a cost of $2 million. The event that became known as the High Point Furniture Market was attended by 700 buyers and generated $2.25 million in sales. High Point had overtaken Chicago as the site of the nation’s most important semi-annual furniture show. Gradually the High Point Furniture Market, held in April and October, has grown into an internationally renowned furniture trade fair for all home furnishings. HP continues to be the prime location in the United States to purchase brand-name furniture at a substantial discount.

The furniture industry and developing textile manufacturing set the pace for two 20th century growth booms in High Point. Over the decade of the 1920s, the population grew from 14,302 to 36,745 as $20 million of building permits were issued and $26 million was spent on city improvements. The Great Depression did not seem to affect the southern furniture market which produced trendy and affordable furnishings as much as those in the North that produced traditional, luxurious products. Rebounding by 1935, North Carolina was second only to New York in US furniture production. Meanwhile, the High Point Market continued to set furniture trends and to be a national economic indicator; the $5 billion in sales in 1947 after World War II forecast a postwar boom. The 1950s’ growth of the furniture market mirrored that of High Point’s second population boom from 39,973 in 1950 to 62,063 in 1960. By 1959, North Carolina had become the state employing the most number of people in the furniture industry, beating out New York. In 1961, The State magazine declared that “High Point, in Guilford County, is the world’s leading manufacturing center of wood furniture. It is also the location of one of the nation’s principal furniture markets.” Four international furniture shows were being hosted by High Point at that time, including the High Point Market (still known then as the Southern Furniture Exposition), which The State reported was drawing crowds of five to six thousand buyers. Throughout the end of the 20th century, North Carolina continued to lead the nation in the production of both upholstered and wooden household furniture. The furniture was slightly styled and inexpensive, to meet the needs of all income levels, but lost its regional characteristics. Some local artisans still maintained a unique and high quality wooden product. High Point became known as the “Furniture Capital of the World” in the 1980s during the golden era of North Carolina furniture manufacturing.

The globalization of the 1990s opened free trade and competition from foreign furniture manufacturers. US companies, unable to compete, began outsourcing to Latin America and Asia. China became the leading manufacturer by producing furniture of equal quality at a lower price. The majority of furniture companies in North Carolina have continued to close since the 1990s. The furniture makers who have maintained a high quality product made from solid wood continue to maintain a unique niche and are sold in both the United States and Asia.

The High Point Museum showcases an exhibit, “High Point’s Furniture Heritage”, which examines the historical relationship between the furniture industry and the people of High Point. The effects of the furniture industry on the growth and prosperity of High Point is outlined. The museum’s website links to a list of furniture companies documented to have operated in High Point and the surrounding area since the late 1880s. The Bienenstock Furniture Library located in downtown High Point is the largest furniture specialty library in the world and contains over 4,000 furniture and design-specific volumes.

High Point Market and home furnishing goods

The High Point Market has been noted for being a significant part of the region’s larger furniture “cluster”, which was discussed most recently by sociologist Richard Florida and initially by economist Michael Porter. The Market and its effects on the city have also been the focus of an extensive case study by urban sociologist John Joe Schlichtman. In this research, High Point’s ability to capture the global furniture merchandising market is said to signal a new era in what is possible for small cities. Along these lines, Schlichtman terms High Point a “Niche City”, which is “a city that forges global centrality by creating an economic specialization in a specific segment of the global service economy.” In 2005, High Point adopted “North Carolina’s International City” as its official slogan, emphasizing the role of international business and especially the High Point Market (formerly called the International Home Furnishings Market), the largest furnishings industry trade fair in the world.

 

Attractions

  • High Point City Lake Park: Recreation and amusement park located on the shores of 540-acre (2.2 km2) lake with boating, fishing, paddle boats, picnic areas with shelters, fishing boat and canoe rentals, historic carousel, train, waterslide, largest outdoor swimming pool in the state, miniature golf, gymnasium, playground and excursion boat. Site of annual “Day in the Park” festival each September.
  • High Point Community Theatre: Founded in 1976, HPCT presents American musicals, dramas and comedies performed by local actors. HPCT also has an education program, featuring classes, workshops and camps for adults, youth and children.
  • High Point Museum and Historical Park: Museum commemorating the history of High Point, coupled with interpretative exhibit of log Blacksmith Shop and 1786 Haley House.
  • High Point Public Library: A massive full-service public library contains nearly 400,000 books, music recordings, videotapes, audiobooks, periodicals, newspapers, and a comprehensive collection of books related to history and genealogy equipped with many attractions for Youth and Young Adults.
  • Castle McCulloch Gold Mill: McCulloch Gold Mill was built in 1832 and operated primarily as a gold processing center serving local gold mining operations. Now open as a special events center.
  • Millis Regional Health Education Center: Interactive health education center with features depicting facets of human anatomy and health.
  • Museum of Old Domestic Life: Quaker museum established around 1926 in 1858 Springfield Meeting House, containing a broad selection of artifacts from typical colonial Quaker homesteads.
  • Piedmont Environmental Center: Features 375 acres (1.5 km2) of hiking trails adjacent to High Point City Lake, nature preserve, small animal exhibits, the North Carolina Mapscape, and access to an eight-mile (13 km) Greenway Trail.
  • Rosetta C. Baldwin Museum: The museum was created in November 2000 to honor the legacy of Miss Rosetta C. Baldwin, her family and many African-Americans. The site depicts a typical home of a southern African American family during the mid-twentieth century.
  • Sechrest Gallery: Located on the campus of High Point University in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, the Sechrest Gallery houses permanent collections of 18th and 19th century British Art coupled with rotating exhibitions.
  • Theatre Art Galleries: Housed in the High Point Theatre since 1975, the Theatre Art Galleries (TAG) hosts exhibitions of contemporary visual art. TAG has been the sole independent nonprofit provider of the visual arts in High Point and includes one of the finest stage and gallery spaces in the Southeast.
  • World’s Largest Chest of Drawers: Iconic symbol of the city since 1926, the World’s Largest Bureau is an example of automobile-oriented pop architecture and has been featured on numerous broadcasts such as MTV and The Travel Channel.
  • Brentwood Baptist Church was built in 1964 to the designs of Lawrence Henry Mallard of Lawrence Henry Mallard, 17041 Battleground Ave, Greensboro, North Carolina 27408.