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Tales of The New Daisy Theatre

In Downtown by Brenda Wilkerson3 Comments

The New Daisy Theatre opened at 330 Beale Street in 1942. Paul and Sam Zerilla and their partner Joe Maceri, owners of the original Daisy Theatre across the street (now known as the “Old Daisy”), wanted to add a larger facility that could support popular acts. In its first few decades, the New Daisy primarily served as a movie theater …

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The Life and Times of the French Quarter Hotel

In Midtown by Brenda Wilkerson8 Comments

In 1983, the corner of Madison and Cooper was home to a popular supper club called Solomon Alfred’s (formerly Godfathers). The club’s owner, plastic surgeon Dr. Garnett Murphy, thought the property might be better suited to a boutique-style hotel. He partnered with successful local hotel developers Ron Kirkpatrick (Sr. and Jr.), Don Pemberton, and Tom Talley. Inspired by the Lagniappe …

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The Sculptures of Peabody Park

In Midtown by Brenda WilkersonLeave a Comment

Tucked against the train trestle on Cooper near Central, three-acre Peabody Park is a sleeper favorite of Midtowners and their children. The park was established in the early 1900s and underwent a renovation around 2000. It contains a popular splash park, a playground, a historic pavilion… and a pair of intriguing sculptures by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo, titled “Without Boundaries.” …

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Memphis Street History: McLean Boulevard

In Midtown by Brenda WilkersonLeave a Comment

Stretching seven miles, from James Road at its north end to Lamar Avenue at its south end, McLean Boulevard runs through the heart of Midtown. Its centrality alone makes it a good subject for Memphis Street History, but as it turns out, the McLean family has had a notable impact on Memphis’s past and even its present! McLean Boulevard was …

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History on Wheels: Memphis Bicycle Co.

In North Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson11 Comments

(The Amagliani brothers and their father, courtesy of Shannon Caraway) Guerrino Amagliani opened Memphis Motorcycle Co. in 1917. The store’s first location was on Cooper, but it later moved to 190 Union Avenue, on what is now the grounds of AutoZone Park. Guerrino’s children – John, Mary, Mike, Gene, Joe, and Frank – helped out with the business. Memphis Motorcycle …

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Memphis Street History: Sam Cooper Boulevard

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson13 Comments

Like many Memphians, I log a lot of miles on Sam Cooper Boulevard, the stretch of I-40 between East Parkway and the junction with I-240. I’ve always wondered about the man behind the name. If you have, too, prepare to be impressed by his life and legacy. Sam Cooper grew up in the Pinch District of Memphis, the son of …

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Faux Retro: Park Cosmorama

In East Memphis by Brenda WilkersonLeave a Comment

When you pull into the parking lot of the Park Cosmorama strip mall, you might assume the large sign greeting you is from the era of The Jetsons. But, surprisingly, the Park Cosmorama sign isn’t a relic – it was installed at the turn of this century. Built sometime in the 1950s, this strip mall on Park between Mendenhall and …

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Normal Station

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson7 Comments

The East Memphis neighborhood known as Normal Station is bordered by Southern Avenue, Park Avenue, Highland, and Goodlett. It’s one of Memphis’s most historically aware communities, so proud of its heritage that it even has its own wiki! For the non-residents, here’s a little background about the origins of The University of Memphis’s backyard. Beginning in the late 1800s, teachers’ …

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Memphis Street History: Winchester Road

In South Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson11 Comments

  While driving around Memphis, have you ever wondered how our major streets got their names? As it turns out, the best place to start is in south Memphis. Winchester Road, which stretches across the south end of town from Third Street downtown to Byhalia Road in Collierville, is probably best known for the section that cuts under a runway …