Will notable historic residence be demolished?

Pontotoc Double House

Track hoe sits ominously close to notable historic residences on Pontotoc Avenue

I have thought the early 20th Century duplex at 492-494 Pontotoc Ave., just west of Danny Thomas, was extremely interesting since I first ran across it about 25 years ago.  It was not in the greatest shape then, but I always get the feel that this was a house that didn’t seem to fit in Memphis.   But now, with the rooming house to the east looking like a total burn out, and a track hoe parked in the vacant lot next door, the future looks grim for what was once jewel on the outskirts of  Downtown.

Pontotoc Double House 2

Looking east at the 492 side

Memphis: An Architectural Guide describes 492-494 Pontotoc Avenue (1904-1905) as:
A double Romanesque house, on all pointy, the other all rounded.  492 has a steep gable over the entrance, a gabled dormer, a three sided bay window and even some curves in the Doric columns of the porch.  The entrance at 494 is under a low Richardsonian arch, the dormer above the arch has a curved pediment, and the bay window is a nice round bulge capped by a roof with a conical shape.  An imaginative and even powerful pair of houses…. 
Pontotoc Double House 3

Looking east toward 494 Pontotoc

That track hoe can do a lot of  destruction pretty quickly.  It appears that this duplex is inhabited, so you may to have a chance to catch a look before it’s gone.

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.