High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina
High Point
—  City  —
City of High Point

Nickname(s): Furniture and Hosiery Capital of the World, The Point, HP, City of the Future
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°58′14″N 79°59′51″W / 35.97056°N 79.9975°W / 35.97056; -79.9975Coordinates: 35°58′14″N 79°59′51″W / 35.97056°N 79.9975°W / 35.97056; -79.9975
Country United States
State North Carolina
Counties Guilford, Davidson, Randolph, Forsyth
 – Mayor Rebecca Smothers (D)
 – City 95.1 sq mi (205.3 km2)
 – Land 94.7 sq mi (204.2 km2)
 – Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 1,007 ft (286 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 104,371
 – Urban 150,000
 – Metro 1,603,101
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 27260-27265
Area code(s) 336
FIPS code 37-31400[1]
GNIS feature ID 0986755[2]
Website http://www.high-point.net

High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. As of 2010 the city had a total population of 104,371, according to the US Census Bureau. High Point is currently the eighth-largest municipality in North Carolina.

High Point is known for its furniture, textiles, and bus manufacturing. The city is sometimes referred to as the "Furniture Capital of the World" although its official slogan is "North Carolina's International City" due to the semi-annual High Point Market that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world. The area code is 336.

It is home to High Point University, a private Methodist-affiliated institution founded in 1924.

Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina's only city that extends into four counties.



Among the first Europeans to settle Guilford County were Quakers and German immigrants. High Point was located at the highest point of the 1856 North Carolina Railroad between Charlotte and Goldsboro where it intersected the 1852 Great Western Plank Road. Its central location and transportation allowed for the delivery of raw materials like cotton and lumber and processed goods in and out of the city and contributed to its early growth. Settled before 1750, High Point was incorporated in 1859. Before it became a major manufacturing center, the most important industries were tobacco, woodworking and textiles. The first of many High Point furniture factories was opened in 1889.[3]

High Point's conception is not solely linked to manufacturing; it is also tied to religious freedom beginning as early as the mid-eighteenth century as a refuge for Pennsylvania Quakers who came to the region in search of affordable land, good climate, and an opportunity to create a principled and ordered community. Members of the Society of Friends held beliefs that many considered heresy in the late eighteenth century. Central to these core convictions were values of community and equality that led to the development of specialized trades and early educational systems that were the foundations for the future growth of the region.

Since its incorporation, High Point has been an ambitious city. Whether rallying around Union carpetbaggers in the 1870s and textile barons in the 1910s, or planning public parks in the 1930s, the city has always been forward looking in its prospects. City historians such as J. J. Farriss, Stephen C. Clark, Frank Sizemore, and Holt McPherson have proudly documented the city’s past as if writing a user’s guide for building a model city. Memorialized in numerous successful businesses and family fortunes, this ambition also is recorded in the city’s architecture.

Queen Anne Ecker House of 1908 in High Point

Reflecting the city’s growth and influence is an architectural inventory increasingly representative of High Point's civic pride and cultural sophistication. Since early settlement, hotels and merchant-houses presented fashionable façades to visitors and discerning shoppers. Later, wealthy industrialists had ambitious houses and churches erected in popular styles that illustrated the growing town's sense of style. Finally, civic projects such as schools and public works were built in increasingly popular and modern designs in a way that spoke to High Point's progressive spirit and quickening pace. By the middle of the twentieth century, High Point had assembled an impressive collection of architecture representing nearly every popular style since the city was founded, some designed by nationally recognized architects and planners.

Within the twenty-first century, increasing influence has been found in the city's institutions of higher education. Established in 1924, High Point University is a liberal arts institution with approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 52 countries and 36 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by U.S. News and World Report 6th among comprehensive universities in the South and in the top 100 nationally. The university offers 45 undergraduate majors and five graduate-degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference.


High Point is the only city in North Carolina that exists within four counties: Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, and Randolph. It also stands within two major watersheds: The Yadkin-Pee Dee and the Cape Fear. Parts of the city rise above 1,000 feet (300 m), making it among the highest cities in North Carolina's Piedmont.

High Point is located at 35°58′14″N 79°59′51″W / 35.97056°N 79.9975°W / 35.97056; -79.9975.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 50.6 square miles (131.3 km²), of which, 49.0 square miles (127.0 km²) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²) of it (3.24%) is water.


The climate in High Point is humid subtropical, with four seasons. Summers tend to be hot and humid, with the dewpoints rising to low and mid 70s during July and August. Fall and spring are mild. Winters are cold at night and mild during the day, but only a few days every winter does the temperature drop below -4 °C. Rainfall patterns are generally spread evenly throughout the year, with between six and nine wet days per month. Snowfall is unpredictable, with some winters experiencing little or no measureable snow and others characterized by occasional ice storms with small accumulations of snow and ice. January lows average -1 °C (30 °F) and highs average 10 °C (50 °F). July lows average 19 °C (67 °F) and highs average 32 °C (89 °F) although during heat waves, summer highs can cross 40 °C (104 °F). The lowest temperature ever officially recorded for the city was -22 °C (-7 °F), and the highest temperature ever recorded was 41 °C (106 °F). High Point has a humid subtropical climate, though being located between the mountains and the ocean it experiences less temperature fluctuation than other areas.

High Point was one of several communities impacted by a March 2010 Carolinas tornado outbreak. The twister reached its most powerful EF3 classification as it crossed the northern suburbs of the city.

In 1989, High Point sustained minor wind damage from Hurricane Hugo as it raced through the western Piedmont Plateau of North Carolina after making landfall 5 hours away in Charleston, South Carolina.

Climate data for High Point, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 51.0
Average low °F (°C) 30.5
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.6
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.0
Avg. precipitation days 10 9 10 10 10 10 11 10 8 7 8 9 111
Source: [5]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 525
1870 1,627 209.9%
1880 1,991 22.4%
1890 2,500 25.6%
1900 4,163 66.5%
1910 9,525 128.8%
1920 14,302 50.2%
1930 36,745 156.9%
1940 38,495 4.8%
1950 39,973 3.8%
1960 62,063 55.3%
1970 63,229 1.9%
1980 63,380 0.2%
1990 69,428 9.5%
2000 85,839 23.6%
2010 104,371 21.6%
U.S. Census Bureau[6]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 85,839 people, 33,519 households, and 22,523 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,750.1 people per square mile (675.7/km²). There were 35,952 housing units at an average density of 733.0 per square mile (283.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.56% White, 34.77% African American, 0.46% Native American, 4.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.89% of the population. 12.7% were of American, 8.7% English, 8.3% German and 5.9% Irish ancestry.

There were 33,519 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,137, and the median income for a family was $48,057. Males had a median income of $33,411 versus $25,293 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,303. About 10.5% of families and 13.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.


2009 10 Largest Employers [7]
Bank of America 2,087
Guilford County Schools 1,760
High Point Regional Health System 1,720
City of High Point 1,339
Thomas Built Buses 1,265
Polo Ralph Lauren 1,100
Cornerstone Health Care 922
Aetna 790
Tyco Electronics 775
High Point University 764

Once synonymous with furniture, hosiery, and Hatteras yachts, High Point has diversified its economy as a center for distribution and logistics, customer service and banking, manufacturing, photography, and pharmaceuticals. The High Point Market remains a centerpiece to High Point's economy and the city's most recognized industry. The trade show is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world. Approximately 12,000,000 square feet (1,100,000 m2) of showroom space is used by 2300 exhibitors, in 188 separate buildings.

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[8] and initially by economist Michael Porter.[9] The Market and its effects on the city have also been the focus of an extensive case study by urban sociologist John Joe Schlichtman.[10] 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.[11] 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."[12] 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.

Since 2005, the High Point Market has been receiving increasing competition from the huge World Market Center project in Las Vegas, Nevada, which, if fully built according to its multi-stage plan, is slated to exceed the High Point Market in square footage. In February 2011, speculation developed that Las Vegas World Market Center interests were positioning to purchase a controlling stake in the High Point Market. If this speculation is correct, World Market Center interests would control 64% of the square footage in downtown High Point.[13]


High Point's 1908 Passenger Depot

High Point is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, which also serves Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Amtrak's Crescent and Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect High Point (Amtrak station) with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The recently refurbished historic Amtrak station is situated at 100 West High Street.

Interstate 85 runs through southern High Point, southeast of the original interstate roadway, which is now designated Business 85. In the future, the new Interstate 74 will run north and east of the city. This section is referred locally as the "East Belt" freeway project, with construction scheduled to be completed after 2011. Part of this freeway is already built, and is signed U.S. Highway 311.

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation(PART) also operates in High Point. It is a service that shuttles people in between most of the cities in the northwestern Piedmont region of North Carolina. High Point also provides public transportation. The main service for public transportation in High Point is Hi tran, the local bus service.

Highways passing through High Point include:


High Point University, Roberts Hall

Private schools for the education of children were established in and around High Point as early as the early nineteenth century by Quakers. The New York Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, a network of Quakers from that state, started a school in Asheboro in the 1880s for African American students. The school relocated to High Point in 1891 on land east of town on Washington Street. The institution was named the High Point Normal and Industrial School (later William Penn High School), and was administered by the Quakers until 1897. In that year, black educator Alfred J. Griffin accepted the position of principal and led the establishment into a long period of growth.

The High Point public school system was founded in 1897 with the approval of a $10,000 bond, in part to finance the purchase of J. Elwood Cox’s family home on South Main Street for use as the first school building. Twelve school commissioners were appointed to administer the 350-student system of five grades. Growth of the city’s institutions reflected improved primary educational facilities. A school building campaign coupled with additional grades and improved classes resulted in four additional schools for white students: Elm Street School (1905), Park Street School (1910), Fairview School (1910), and Grimes Street School (1911). Many other schools were all born in the 1920s during a period of rapid growth.

This building spree culminated in 1927 with the opening of High Point High School. Among the many high styled school complexes in the state, few surpass High Point’s grand 1927 high school. The campus joined the talents of two designers; Greensboro architect Harry Barton and Charlotte landscape architect Earl S. Draper. The building was matched in 1931 with the addition of Ferndale Middle School just to the east, designed to incorporate details from the high school so that it maintained a campus theme. Both shared athletic facilities on a large tract of land between downtown and Emerywood. An additional high school, T. Wingate Andrews High School, was established in the 1960s.

Several private and independent schools are found in High Point, including (High Point Christian Academy) (Baptist), High Point Friends School (Quaker), Immaculate Heart of Mary (Catholic), Wesleyan Christian Academy, and Westchester Country Day School (nonsectarian), and Phoenix Academy, a charter school.

In 1921, the Chamber of Commerce made the establishment of a college in High Point a high priority and initiated a High Point College campaign. The campaign solicited funds in order to attract the attention of the North Carolina Methodist Protestants, who had desired for decades to found a college.

High Point succeeded in attracting the college over rivals Greensboro and Burlington with a gift of 60 acres (240,000 m2) and $100,000 in pledges from leading citizens. High Point College opened in 1924 (changed to High Point University in 1991) with three buildings at various stages of development. Many of the numerous civic organizations founded in the 1920s pledged funds, including the Rotary, Kiwanis, Civitan, and the American Business Club. The architectural design of the High Point College campus was in keeping with traditional and historical architectural initiatives found at many private colleges and universities across the state in the 1920s. The administration building (Roberts Hall), male and female dormitories (McCulloch Hall and Women’s Hall, respectively), and a central heating plant were all erected between 1922 and 1924 according to designs by Washington, D.C., architect R. E. Mitchell with assistance by High Point architect Herbert Hunter. Today, High Point University is a four-year, coeducational, liberal arts university related to the United Methodist Church. It offers 50 majors in a traditional day format. It also offers non-traditional Evening Programs, and the Graduate Studies offers four Master's degrees and six programs.

High Point is also the home of John Wesley College, as well as one of the nine Shaw University "CAPE" (College of Adult and Professional Education) program centers.[14]

Guilford Technical Community College also maintains a High Point campus.



The High Point Enterprise, established in 1885, is the only daily newspaper published in High Point. HP Magazine is a full color glossy lifestyle magazine that offers stories on food, history, events, the furniture industry, and more. The monthly magazine is the city's largest locally owned publication. Greensboro's News and Record also is available in High Point. Yes! Weekly and the Rhinoceros Times are free weekly papers covering High Point.


Triangle Park, High Point
  • Angela Peterson Doll And Miniature Museum - One of the south's largest doll & miniature museums.
  • Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library - World's largest collection of books on the history of furniture and interior design.
  • 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, High Point Community Theatre (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 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.
  • Historic 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.
  • North Carolina Shakespeare Festival - Headquartered in the High Point Theatre, this professional troupe presents classic and contemporary plays during their September through December season.
  • Piedmont Environmental Center - Features 375 acres (1.5 km2) of hiking trails adjacent to High Point City Lake, nature preserve, nature store, small animal exhibits, the North Carolina Mapscape, and access to an eight mile (13 km) Greenway Trail.
World's Largest Chest of Drawers
  • 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 (High Point, North Carolina) was built 1964 to the designs of Lawrence Henry Mallard of Lawrence Henry Mallard, 17041 Battleground Ave, Greensboro, North Carolina 27408.[15]

Television stations

High Point makes up part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area. These stations are listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ http://www.highpointchamber.org/hppc/hphistory.html
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "High Point, North Carolina". Weatherbase.com. Canty and Associates LLC. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=360413&refer=&cityname=High-Point-North-Carolina-United-States-of-America. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Decennial Censuses". Census of Population and Housing. U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.highpointnc.gov/edc/docs/2009annrpt.pdf
  8. ^ Richard Florida, Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life, New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008. pp. 113, 118
  9. ^ Michael Porter, "Clusters and the New Economics of Competition." Harvard Business Review. November–December 1998
  10. ^ Michelle Abbott, "Urban Sociologist Studies High Point, N.C.'s Path to Furniture Mart Prosperity," High Point Enterprise, September 2, 2003.
  11. ^ John Joe Schlichtman, "Making Temp Town: The Political and Economic Machinations of the Furniture Capital of the World.” Small Cities: Urban Experience Beyond the Metropolis, Routledge. 2006.
  12. ^ John Joe Schlichtman, "The Niche City Idea: How a Declining Manufacturing Center Exploited the Opportunities of Globalization.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 33.1 March 2009 105–25
  13. ^ Paul Johnson, "SHOWROOM DEAL: Report raises possibility of mega pact involving High Point, Las Vegas,"High Point Enterprise, February 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "College of Adult and Professional Education (CAPE)". Shaw University. http://www.shawu.edu/a_admission_cape.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  15. ^ "Herbert F. Maddalene" American Architects Directory, Third Edition (New York City: R.R. Bowker LLC, 1970), p.590.

http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate.php?location=USNC0314 http://carolina-north.com/nc_climate.html http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/compare/results?from=vac_compare&clocid1=USNC0314&clocid2=USNC0234

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