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Lenoir is a city in Caldwell County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 16,793 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Caldwell County. Lenoir is located in the Blue Ridge foothills. The city also contains the Brushy Mountains, a spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hibriten Mountain, located within the city limits of Lenoir, marks the western end of the Brushy Mountains range. The city was named for Revolutionary War figure and early North Carolina statesman General William Lenoir, who lived nearby. His restored home is a tourist attraction.
Lenoir is one of the principal cities in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lenoir was one of the recipients of the 2008 All-America City Award.
The Broyhill Furniture company, one of the largest furniture companies in the United States and part of Furniture Brands International, has its headquarters in Lenoir and has historically been one of the town's largest employers. The Bernhardt and Fairfield furniture companies are also located in Lenoir. However, in the 1990s, these companies began outsourcing their work overseas, and they have closed many of Lenoir's furniture factories and laid off workers, causing many local businesses either to close or move to other cities. This has harmed the economy in Lenoir, leaving many households living below the poverty line.
Google, Inc. has commenced construction of and opened a server farm in Lenoir. There has been a lot of controversy about the nature and amount of economic development incentives the City, Caldwell County and the State of North Carolina gave Google to induce them to build the server farm. The move, it is hoped, will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs for the area, which has been harmed by outsourcing of furniture manufacturing jobs overseas.