A FUN, SELF-GUIDED VIRTUAL TOUR OF 6 HOMES AND GARDENS
Welcome to Home Tour Detour 2 While the Central Gardens Home Tour Committee is in the business of putting on full, indoor tours of the neighborhood’s exquisite historical structures, we are happy to be able to pivot to an event that shares our neighborhood with the broader community, while also keeping public health safety in mind. Welcome to Home Tour Detour 2, a virtual twist on our traditional Home & Garden Tour that gives guests an opportunity to learn about unique homes in our neighborhood and provides the chance to win some great prizes! We invite you to stroll the neighborhood, find the six Home Tour Detour “selfie” locations, and learn about these homes, their stories and see a few glimpses of what is inside! This publication, our first ever eMagazine, will serve as your guide to navigate through our tree-lined streets. Be sure to find the homes and take your selfie! Email the pic to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to win one of three prizes. We are not selling tickets to this event, but we would be grateful for donations to support our programs.
Your donations will go to support Central Gardens Association’s efforts such as:
• The recertification process for our Historic Neighborhood Recognition • Beautification and maintenance of our shared common spaces such as roundabouts and medians • Our designated Level III Arboretum and the associated tree replacement program • Maintenance of neighborhood signage • The Alley Lighting Program • Promotion of the Sidewalk Replacement Program and the Historic Tiles Program • Other neighborhood gatherings such as Dinner in the Gardens and the Annual July 4th Parade
A sincere thanks to all of you who have supported the Central Gardens Home & Garden Tour throughout the years. Whether you are a long-time tour attendee, a sponsor, volunteer or neighbor, we want you to know that your participation is valuable and precious to us. We look forward to returning to our traditional tour in 2022, for which preparation is already underway. In the meantime, enjoy our neighborhood over the next several weeks, in her late summer splendor. —Your Home Tour Committee
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Home Tour Committee Volunteers Katherine Schwartz—Chair Kathy Ferguson—Co-chair Nancy Knight Cynthia Saatkamp Jennie Iverson Heather Grosvenor Peter Pace Wendy Cornejo Stephanie Riggs Kate Metcalf Shelly Rainwater Ben Graham Barrie Simpson June Jones
Special Thanks to Our Business Members Advanced Landscape Crosstown Concourse Wealth Enterprises, LLC Mercury Valet The Mail Center Steve Womack Warren Ayers Construction
1355 Peabody This tour is a gardener’s delight. The imposing residence in the Annesdale Park subdivision which was one of the first high quality residential subdivisions in the city. It was co-developed by R. Brinkley Snowden, real estate investor and banker, and his brother, J. Bayard Snowden, great-grandsons of progenitor Judge John Overton and Thomas O. Vinton, a local land developer and banker.
The first owners were John N. Oliver and wife Ella who purchased it in 1910. Oliver came to Memphis in 1860 to open a hat shop. However, the following year the Civil War broke out and he discovered that the wholesale grocery business was more profitable. During the next 40 years, he owned numerous warehouses and storage facilities in the city. He was the president of the Memphis Cold Storage Company whose headquarters you might remember as The Pier Restaurant on Riverfront Drive. In 1904, Oliver built the Beaux-Arts style Oliver Building as a cold storage facility - the first of its kind in the South. The architect of this Colonial Revival home is unknown but it evokes Victorian charm with its generous wraparound porch, the off-center, single-light entry with full transoms and the large cottage windows on the façade, and the stained glass in the arched window on the second floor. The current owners are Barrie and Mike Simpson. They decided to have the lush gardens constructed during the Covid pandemic in the Spring/Summer of 2020. Designed by landscape architect Greg Pope, the landscaping was done by Patrick Nieto, Advanced Landscape. The black wrought iron fence that enhances the front and side stairs was designed and executed by Max Patterson. Hardscape included the brick planter in front, the walk border, an irrigation system, and slate patio in back. Care was taken to use available bricks for the extension of edges, original plants were redistributed around the property. Lots of the original flowers included Siberian Iris, small white flowers that bloom in the spring, the gorgeous 60 year-old Chaste tree from Eastern Europe that sports lavender flowers multiple times during the summer, as well as Confederate Jasmine and Honeysuckle Vines covering the wooden fence. The green arbor chair was salvaged and restored for meditative moments in the back garden. The fountain is from Fountain Works and is maintained by Memphis Water Gardens. There are more than 100 different flowers/plants covering the front, side, secret garden and back yards. We challenge you to see how many of the plants listed below you can spot! Lenten Roses; Azaleas; Ever-bloom Roses; Drama Queen Hibiscus; Evening Primrose; Showstar – Melampodium; Yarrow; Gerber Daisies; Spiderwort; Phlox; Peonies; Lambs Ears; Daffodils; Day Lilies; Creeping Jenny; Begonias; Hydrangeas; Butterfly Bush; Pugster Blue; Clematis; Chinese Wisteria; Zebra Grass; Cannas; Sweet Potato Vines; Heuchera; Autumn Ferns; Hostas; Purple Cone Flowers; Black Eyed Susans; Rambling Rose Bush; Acuba; Sweet Olive Bush; Nandina; Boxwood; Vinca Vines; Bridal Wreath Spirea; Sage, Mint, Basil, Oregano; Apricot Geraniums; Siberian Iris; Toad Lilies; Lilies of the Valley; Lantana; Sedum; Hens & Chicks; Dwarf Mondo; Lambs Ears; Drift Rose; Evergreen Clematis; Yucca; Rose of Sharon; Forsythia; Ferns; Japanese Maple; Basin Magnolia; Petunias; Asiatic Jasmine; Yaupon Holly; Lirope; Passion Flower Vine; Grasses; Gardenia; Painted Daisies; Impatiens; Mums; Dutchman’s Breeches; Balloon Flowers; Creeping Phlox; Winter Creeper; Honeysuckle Vines; English Ivy; Geraniums; Coreopsis; Astilbe
1355 Peabody Interior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
1355 Peabody Exterior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
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1380 Carr Avenue This property’s first owner was a true hero of the 1878 Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic. And the name Carr has a very distinguished pedigree as well. In 1815, pioneer Anderson B. Carr settled 1600 acres of virgin land here originally known as John Rice’s “East Memphis” tract which included present day Central Gardens. The boundaries of the vast Carr property were present day East Parkway on the east, Cane Creek (South Parkway) on the south, the old Raleigh Road (Bellevue) on the west and Union Avenue on the north. Present day Central Avenue was an aboriginal trail improved early on by Carr who began selling off parts of his claim in the 1820s. Today this lovely street is one of the few reminders of this early settler. In 1907, Arthur Merriman platted Merriman Park Subdivision which was bounded by Cleveland, Harbert, Melrose and the north rear property line of Peabody. This residence is located on Lot 26 and the East 5’ of Lot 25. The home first appears in the 1912 City Directory and the first owner was Charles Q. Harris. Here is the background story on “Hero” Harris. Most Memphians are aware of the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, which almost wiped our city off the map. The disease, carried by a tiny mosquito, decimated entire neighborhoods, forcing men, women, and children to flee — most of them never to return. A few brave souls stayed behind, in a desperate (and often futile, if not fatal) attempt to treat the sick, such as the priests and sisters of St. Mary’s Cathedral. Similar to the current Covid-19 epidemic, many businesses closed, then even such vitally important establishments as hospitals, druggists, and grocers. Even banks locked their vaults and closed their doors, as employees either died or moved to places farther north, as far away from the fever as they could get. One bank that remained open during this time, however, was First National Bank, known today as First Horizon. The bank had opened during the Civil War, founded by a banker from Ohio who sensed that good times lay ahead, once the war ended. And he was right — until the yellow fever struck. Most bank officials left the city, along with other business leaders. Two loyal employees stayed behind, however: cashier W.W. Thatcher and bookkeeper Charles Q. Harris. The bank stayed open only a few hours each day, mainly so it could handle cash donations sent to Memphis from relief organizations in other cities. Thatcher quickly succumbed to the fever, but Harris stayed at his post. The young man was just 23 years old. Even though health officials urged everyone to remain indoors as much as possible, Harris made daily trips from the bank offices on Madison to the Express Offices in Court Square, one time to collect and distribute a $75,000 donation sent from a national charity. The daily newspaper, which somehow managed to keep operating during the epidemic, warned visitors to stay away, and reported that few business transactions were taking place in the stricken city: “We know that our businessmen are impatient to get home and renew business. We say to them there is no business being transacted here. ... Memphis is now dealing in death, and not in the goods which go to make up the business of the commercial season.”
1380 Carr Avenue This was the situation Charles Harris somehow endured, as the fever swarmed over the city in July, August, and into September. No one dreamed that the disease was carried by an insect; all anyone knew — based on past, less deadly epidemics — was that it inexplicably faded away as soon as the scorching summer weather came to an end. So eventually a cold spell did come in mid-October of that year, killing off the mosquitoes, and ending the epidemic. First National Bank officials returned to Memphis to find Harris still at his post, somehow keeping the bank open all this time. For his bravery, it was reported that he was handed a substantial bonus (I would certainly hope so!). When he finally retired in 1918, the longtime bookkeeper was given the title of Honorary Vice President. He passed away in 1928. The property has passed through several owners and was purchased by its present owners, Edward and Kathryn Ferguson in 2008. The lovely residence is an example of an Eclectic style House popular from 1880 to 1940. The Eclectic Movement draws on the full spectrum of architectural tradition-Ancient Classical, Medieval, Renaissance Classical or even Modern. The property is two-story, hip roof with brackets, rectangular plan building, clad in coursed, ashlar cut stone veneer with a Victorian touch of a hipped-roof wrap-around porch, and stone piers.
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1478 Carr Avenue This newcomer to Central Gardens is located on Lot 20 of the Matthew’s Land Company Subdivision, platted in 1905 by James M. Goodbar and R.L. Matthews. The boundaries are Peabody Avenue, Melrose, Harbert Avenue and Willett on the east. Goodbar was a prominent Memphis merchant, real estate developer, owner of Goodbar & Co. wholesale dealers in boots and shoes. He was also the director of the Memphis
Trust Company, Memphis National Bank, Chickasaw Cooperage, the Little Rock Ice Company and a member of Second Presbyterian Church. Nothing more was discovered about Mr. Matthews. A search of the Sanborn Fire Maps reveals this lot had never had a building on it. This new residence was built in 2020 under Landmarks Commission review because Central Gardens is a Landmarks District. For most of the 1960s and into the early ‘70s, numerous historic structures and neighborhoods throughout Memphis were becoming victim to the wrecking ball in favor of new construction and in the name of progress. This trend was of great concern to many Memphians of the day, who feared that they’d eventually lose much of what they had grown up with and which made their Memphis so unique. However local preservationists—from organizations like the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities and the Memphis City Beautiful Commission, historian and author Dr. Charles Crawford and individuals and homeowners passionate about preservation—continued to lobby the old Memphis Housing Authority and the Memphis-Shelby County Planning Commission to form the type of conservation authority allowed by the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act. What resulted, in the passing by the City Council of Ordinance 2276 in 1975, was the forming of the Memphis Landmarks Commission (MLC). The MLC in their mission was mandated to preserve and protect “the historic, architectural and cultural landmarks in the City of Memphis.” In 1992, after the loss of the Ada Norfleet Turner Home, the Central Gardens Neighborhood Association petitioned the city for a Landmarks designation as a historic conservation district. They also submitted detailed architectural guidelines established back in 1980 for their nomination to the National Register. There were inevitable compromises. With anything of such magnitude, which required buy-in by the majority of residents and influential neighborhood institutions, such compromises are made with the greater good in mind; moreover, it is quite possible that the historic conservation district designation would have eluded Central Gardens if not for such give and take. “In the early 1990s, the Central Gardens Board of Directors fought to have the neighborhood designated as a Historic Conservation District. This designation gives the entire neighborhood the protections of the Historic Guidelines that are applied and governed by the Memphis Landmarks Commission,” said 2017 Association President Kathy Ferguson. “To put it simply, if (certain compromises) would not have been adopted in 1992, this district … would not have the protections now provided under our Historic Guidelines.”
1478 Carr Avenue Interior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
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1800 Linden After the Revolutionary War, the state of North Carolina had little or no money in its treasury. Faced with accumulated debts to soldiers and military suppliers, the state began to grant or transfer its western land to individuals to pay for war service and supplies in lieu of cash. Two of the earliest purchasers were John Rice and John Ramsey (or Ramsay), who received adjoining grants of 5,000 acres each on the Mississippi River at the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff.
They paid about 5 cents an acre and the property line was present day Bellevue. To the east, land know today as Central Gardens, Idlewild, and Cooper-Young historic districts, was purchased by early settler Solomon Rozelle. By the 1870s, the eastern city limit was Dunlap Street. Beyond that the eastern area, including the subject property, was undeveloped farm land and unimproved farm roads commonly known as “East End” prior to ca. 1905, and today known as “Midtown.” The rural character of this area began to change beginning in 1884-1887 with the creation of three major developments in the area-- Montgomery Park, the Citizen’s East End Railroad, and East End Park. The establishment of Montgomery Park (1884) on the site of the old Mid-South Fairgrounds created a major new site for public amusements, the focus of which were the horse races held by the Memphis Jockey Club. The popularity of Montgomery Park caused real estate interests in the area to charter the Citizens Street Railway Company in 1887. The new trolley company also developed its own pleasure ground called East End Park in 1887. The park was bounded by Poplar on the north, Florence on the west, Madison on the south and Cooper on the east and included a beer garden, the Crazy 8 (the Zippin Pippin formerly at Liberty Land), a bandstand and Bellaire Woods, today a subdivision fronting on Poplar. By the early 1890s, the city’s prospects for future growth and prosperity were much improved after the Yellow Fever plague had dissipated. Artesian water was discovered, a sewer system was installed, the city charter was returned and the Great Bridge had been constructed. Development of Midtown began in earnest. The subject property is located on Lot 50 of the Equitable Land Construction Company Idlewild Subdivision platted in 1899 by W. R. Rogers and John Sealy. First owners were James and Elizabeth McAlester. The second owner was E.W. Meyer, a foreman with The Memphis Machinery Company who lived there with his family until he sold the property to Pattie P. Davis, a widow, in 1935 during the height of the Great Depression. Ms. Davis appears to have bought and sold real estate. She sold the property to Francis and Marian Chamberlin in 1963 after living there for twenty eight years. After Francis Chamberlin died, Marian continued to live there until 1991 when she sold it to Mark and Margaret Talley. The Talleys were divorced in 1997 and Mark kept the property. It passed through a few more owners before being purchased in May, 2019 by the current owners, Brian and Catherine Sullivan. The 1910 Queen Anne cottage at 1800 Linden Avenue is an excellent local example of the Free Classical style hipped roof with lower cross gable subtype. The Queen Anne style was first popularized by a group of 19th-century English architects led by Richard Norman Shaw, and was the dominant style of domestic building during the period from about 1880 until 1900, it then persisted with decreasing popularity through the first decade of the twentieth century. The different subtypes were not, however, equally common throughout this long period, but shifted with changing fashion. In the decade of 1890s the Free Classical adaptation became widespread. This asymmetrical style is found on over half of all Queen Anne styles and the ones built after 1905 display a much lower roof pitch. The Free Classical subtype lasted until around 1910 and is considered the transitional style between the Queen Anne and the Colonial Revival style as it displays elements of both. Colonial Revival then became the dominant style for domestic buildings until the late 1940’s. The charming home displays Queen Anne touches including fish scale shingles in the gable, a wraparound porch and a single light, three panel cottage door. Colonial Revival details include a full pediment and pent on the front facing gable and box columns.
1800 Linden Interior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
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1768 Peabody Chartered in 1920, Boy Scout Troop 34 at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is the oldest continuing operating unit in the Chickasaw Council. As is the case for most units, Troop 34 never really had a place of its own, as meeting spaces are provided by chartered organizations and shared, making it difficult to do many of the things that scouting entails: hang tents to dry, clean patrol kids or even display
items unique to the Troop and Pack. Troop and Pack 34, however, were a bit of a hybrid; when Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School expanded in the 1960s, money was given to dedicate space for scouting. Two classrooms were provided, and the wall between them knocked out to open up the space. But, as it was in the middle of a growing school, access at nights and on weekends was sometimes a challenge. Several years ago, Thor Kvande, headmaster of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School, approached current and past leaders of Troop 34 with the idea to turn a dilapidated property owned by the school into an “urban cabin” dedicated to scouting and to Troop 34’s legacy. The project explored the feasibility and cost of converting the existing 1920s bungalow into a modern, functional meeting space for Troop 34 – all while preserving the highly visible elevation on Peabody Avenue and working within applicable historic district guidelines. Outside is a bungalow, true to its architecture, its period, its neighborhood, and the Landmarks Commission guidelines that protect all of that. Inside is another world, true to the cabins of old Kia Kima and Camp Currier, and the lodges at Philmont Scout Ranch, and to the images and icons of scouting. The design includes a large meeting hall with a soaring 28-foot ceiling, a “mess room,” smaller break-out meeting areas and an ADA-accessible restroom. Upon entering the building, Scouts and guests will see the exposed century-old pine rafters and roof deck above. The remaining second floor has been converted into a mezzanine that overlooks the meeting space below. Structural upgrades make the building safer in a wind or seismic event, and new plumbing, electrical and HVAC bring the structure into this century.
1768 Peabody Interior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
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619 Anderson/1759 Harbert Be sure and tour the Modern kid on the block! Present day Harbert Street is named for an early landowner in the Central Gardens area. According to the 1880 City Directory, the sole resident at that time on present day Harbert Avenue was Calvin W. Harbert who lived in an imposing Victorian mansion on the north side west of McLean at 1786 Harbert. Harbert was a cotton planter and an Electropise agent.
The Electropoise was a simple safe “home remedy” touted to cure Rheumatism, indigestion, paralysis among other diseases. It was guaranteed not to shock! Sadly the origin of the name of Anderson Street cannot be found. Originally platted in 1905 as W.H. Reid’s Resubdivision of Kensington’s Subdivision, in 1912-13, a grand residence was built at 643 Anderson on the southern end of Lot 10. The first owners were Cleland and Eloise Huger Smith, who also purchased Lot 9 as a spacious lawn extending north to Harbert. In August 1972, the owners at the time sold the properties to Vivienne Coldiron and Sarah P. Gordon. The two women subdivided them into two lots in December 1976 and constructed two houses. In 2016, both 619 Anderson and 1759 Harbert were sold to one of the current two owners who together conducted a substantial revival and expansion based on the design of architect John Harrison Jones. This now zero lot line property is a rare example of a Modern design known as Shed style. It originated in the early 1960s an outgrowth of the designs, writing and teachings of several creative architects, among them Charles Moore and Robert Venturi. Although their work shows varying influences and forms, these houses represent a new development in American domestic architecture. While the roof forms on this structure are not as radical, still they exhibit multi-directional roofs. They also exhibit the hallmarks of vertical wood siding, a recessed obscured entrance and asymmetrical window placing.
619 Anderson Interior Photography by Brennan Wilbanks
1759 Harbert Interior Photography by Allen Mims
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Our Physicians and Staff proudly support The 45th Annual Central Gardens Home & Garden Tour Gwen Beard, MD Robin Friedman, MD Amy Amonette Huber, MD Courtney S. Woodmansee, MD Frances K. Lawhead, MD Emily T. Overholser, MD Joseph Pietrangelo, MD Alex Chantara, MD Mary E. Stephens, FNP Buckley Parker, PA-C Rex A. Amonette, M.D. Emeritus J. Harvey Gardner, M.D. Emeritus Frank G. Witherspoon, M.D. Emeritus Lee Allen, M.D. Emeritus 1451 & 1455 Union Avenue Memphis, TN 38104
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Home Tour Detour 2 Map CENTRAL GARDENS
1. 1355 Peabody 2. 1380 Carr Avenue 3. 1478 Carr Avenue 4. 1800 Linden 5. 1768 Peabody 6. 619 Anderson/1759 Harbert