Dixie Furniture was established in the town of Lexington, North Carolina in 1901. It eventually became Lexington Furniture and at its peak, covered 9 city blocks. Global outsourcing eventual forced the closure of most manufacturing facilities in the state. This post features exteriors of Plant 1, the original Dixie Furniture facility, which was closed in 2003.
While processing the images in this post, I was reminded of my former career as a commercial photographer working in several of High Point, NC’s many home furnishing photography studios. This was between 1986 and 1991. In these warehouse size studios, dozens of room scenes were arranged, furniture brought in and finally propped and accessorized by an interior designer. Afterwards, the photographer would light the set, shoot test shots and shoot finals once approved. Several times I worked on Lexington Furniture catalog projects.
In the early 90’s, I started my own multimedia business and would later go on to produce an interactive CD-ROM for Lexington Furniture’s Arnold Palmer Collection. Working as an IT Project Manager since 2000, I’m slowly making my way back to photography. I would love to have a look inside Plant 1, but with all the windows boarded up, there is likely little natural lighting to work with.
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Over the last 6 months, while traveling to work each day, I’ve witnessed the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) bridge replacement project on US Hwy 52 between I-40 & I-40 business in Winston-Salem, NC. Within this short distance of under a mile, the project includes several bridge replacements, road widening and ramp improvements. I’ve come to expect traffic delays in the area. Some days, there’s a lot of time to observe.
As all photographers know, you’re always looking at the world with the next possible composition in mind. Over time, I built up a short list of potential subjects to photograph. Finally, a few weeks ago, I found my way to a safe pull-off near the construction site. I hit most of the items on my short list, but also found several other opportunities to photograph once on site.
During my time on the construction site, I took notice of the “sausage making”, the individual & team work effort, the incremental contributions that over time lead to a significant achievement. As I often remind my Scout youth, “how do you eat an elephant?” Answer, “one bite at a time.”