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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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An Eye for Architecture at SCO

In Midtown by Khara WoodsLeave a Comment

The 22 foot oculus, seemingly cut out from the side of Southern College of Optometry’s (SCO) 11-story tower is hard to miss. In architecture, an oculus is known as a circular opening, like the ones you often see at the top of domes. Think of Saint Peter’s dome at the Vatican. Oculus is also the Latin word for eye, and …

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Hollywood Feed–The Old, Neighborhood Feed Store Comes to a Neighborhood Near You

In Midtown by Samantha Hegenheiser-Finley2 Comments

So, here’s what we know. Familiar Broad Avenue mainstay, Hollywood Feed, opened in Memphis sometime in the 1950’s. The first store operated near the intersections of Hollywood and Chelsea. Unfortunately for this eager blogger and for the store’s current, history-embracing owners, photos of the original store seem to have been lost as decades passed and as the store changed hands …

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Remembering Bill Womack

In Downtown, Guest Posts, Midtown by Art Hullender6 Comments

Today we have a guest post by Art Hullender. It is a wonderful tribute to Bill Womack, whose design has left a lasting mark on Memphis. I’m pretty sure it was a late fall in 2002. I didn’t know at the time that this would be the last time I would ever see Bill Womack. He was in line in …

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Electrical Workers Union Neon Sign

In Midtown by Khara Woods1 Comment

Shares Henry Miller, founder and first president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, worked on high voltage lines as a lineman for the Potomac Light and Power Company in Washington D.C. That is, until one day he suffered a tragic accident while restoring power to a neighborhood after a storm. Glenn Greenwell, president of Memphis’ local IBEW chapter, …

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Our Visit to Sam Phillips Recording Service

In Midtown by Caitlin L. Horton3 Comments

Sam Phillips first heard the rhythm that would make him, and many musicians, famous while picking cotton alongside black laborers. A visit to Beale Street at sixteen sealed the deal. Phillips opened his first studio, The Memphis Recording Service, in 1950. He recorded anything, even speeches and weddings. Two years later he launched the Sun Studio label. The rest is, …

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The Holiday Art of Calvin Farrar

In Downtown, Midtown, Random by Rebecca PhillipsLeave a Comment

Some people might consider sign painting as a dying art, just as some might have seen local printing becoming slowly executed by the internet’s ability to provide online magazines, catalogs and quick email blasts. For a time, hand-painted company signs were becoming something of the past and people couldn’t make a living off sign painting alone. There have always been …

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From Barber & Beauty Shop to Restaurant

In Midtown by Caitlin L. HortonLeave a Comment

One of Memphis’ favorite restaurants and brunch locations, The Beauty Shop, was once known as Atkins Beauty and Barbershop. Atkins served both men and women in his establishment, complete with a shoe shine station and everything. From what we’ve been told, it was THE place to go in Cooper-Young.   The main barber and hair stylist continued on even after …