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High Point Showroom Renovation Restores Historic Radio Building to Former Glory

Furniture World News Desk on 10/6/2012

An extensive restoration to the ground floor of downtown’s former Commercial National Bank Building – now the historic Radio Building located at 164 S. Main St. – is under way at the hands of High Point Market furniture exhibitor Taracea, for the company’s future permanent High Point showroom.

Mexico-based Taracea was founded in 1983 by Javier Suárez, a passionate furniture designer whose interests include architecture and historic preservation. Given the Renaissance Revival style building’s history and countenance, along with his own design sensibility, Suarez relished the opportunity to breathe new life into the 8-story building that became a symbol of pride for the growing town also known as Furniture City in the early 20th century.

The building is operated by Candace MacAulay Lambeth Kime, president of Lambeth Enterprises, and was originally designed by prominent architect Charles C. Hartmann in 1921-22. The ground floor served as the public banking room for Commercial National Bank. It featured travertine marble walls and large, arched windows, along with its most singular feature, a solid steel, state-of-the-art vault weighing 24 tons. On the bank’s opening day celebration in 1924, it was flooded with a crowd of 2500.

One major aspect of the project includes restoration of the lobby’s original 30-foot high ceilings. To create the effect of the original arched windows, Suárez designed 19-foot antiqued mirrored panels to reflect light and emphasize ceiling height. Also prominent in the new space, a 12-part, 24- by 44-foot painting represents one of the 1921 blueprints used for the building’s construction. The massive art display will be installed above the vault that anchors the 5,000 square-foot furniture showroom space.

The furniture manufacturer designs and builds high end furniture, including a special collection of reproductions for Hearst Castle, as well as custom wood furniture for celebrity designers and their clients. Taracea’s current High Point showroom is located in the IHFC building and the company will conduct business there during the fall High Point Market. A limited number of styles will be on display in the new space, at the corner of Main St. and Commerce Ave., beginning October 13.

A grand opening for the new showroom and 30th anniversary event is planned for the April 2013 High Point Market.

Radio Building tenants include other exhibitors and companies associated with the furniture industry, including the High Point Market Authority which occupies one floor.