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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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A Peek Into Memphis Alleys: Park Alley

In Downtown by Caitlin L. HortonLeave a Comment

Take any kind of mildly extensive walk Downtown and you’ll notice that Memphis has a lot of alleyways. More than that, most of them are quite a bit strange, either in name or in history… or in both. Over the years, some have disappeared from our streets due to construction. One that remains was given the classy name of Park …

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Better Than Sliced Bread: The Wonder Bread Bakery

In Downtown by Caitlin L. Horton4 Comments

The Wonder Bread bakery was a Memphis icon for both sight and smell. Located at 400 Monroe Avenue, the bakery once sent the warm, inviting scent of baking bread wafting over one of Memphis’ most unique neighborhoods, The Edge. The now-vacant 184,393-square-foot building features a charming mix of hand-painted and neon signage. The Memphis facility was built in 1921, the …

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The Holiday Inn Great Sign

In Guest Posts, North Memphis by Caitlin L. Horton2 Comments

Many of you have asked us about the Holiday Inn sign. Today, we’re pleased to bring you a guest post exploring the history of this iconic sign by Caroline Mitchell Carrico, Exhibits Design Coordinator at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum. Without further ado, we present the Holiday Inn sign… In 1951, Memphis businessman Kemmons Wilson took a vacation that changed …

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The Godfather of Gibson’s Donuts

In East Memphis by Rebecca Phillips2 Comments

There are many facts and stories we could tell of Gibson’s Donuts, such as how the original owner, Lowell Gibson, hadn’t initially planned to run a donut shop and when he did own one he closed it only one day a year for Christmas. We aren’t going to speak of the bacon sprinkled donut or the magical ingredients the people …

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A Tribute to B.B. King

In Downtown by Caitlin L. Horton2 Comments

In honor of B.B. King’s memorial, we’d like to share Memphis Type History’s book chapter entitled “Behind the Neon Lights of Beale Street at B.B. King’s.” We hope you enjoy and are inspired by the words people shared of B.B. King as much as we were.    Behind the Neon Lights of Beale Street at B.B. King’s Beale Street gave …

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History on Wheels: Memphis Bicycle Co.

In North Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson9 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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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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Shelby Forest General Store – Living and Loving a Legacy

In North Memphis by Samantha Hegenheiser-Finley29 Comments

In Downtown Memphis, workers are making final touches to the faux barn wood and tin roofing that will become part of an outdoor utopia that’s poised to bring about great change for the Uptown and Pinch areas of Downtown. Some say the impact of the new Bass Pro Shops in the Pyramid will have a much more far reaching effect. Just a short …