Tag Archives: vacant

Clayborn Temple

Clayborn Temple, Memphis, TN

Inactive and boarded for years, the Historic Clayborn Temple  (originally Second Presbyterian Church) is still magnificent at  48o Hernando, at Linden.  It was here that Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have Been the the Mountaintop” sermon.

The building seems to be threatened by development to the south; FedEx Forum is just across Linden to the north;  the Beale Street Entertainment district is only a block away.

Current Owner:

African Methodist Episcopal Church Inc
500 8th Ave S, Nashville Tn 37203

Buildings worth saving? (part 6 – the final installment)

Goyer-Lee House 690 Adams, Memphis

First a point some points of clarification:  This blog was spawned as a photo blog, and, henceforth, will be, with a minimum of commentary.  My verbiage in this series was based on a report on Channel 3 whose source, The Center City Commission, describes the buildings as “the Center City Commission’s list of ten downtown redevelopment sites that are important to the health and vitality of our city.”  However, the CCC did name it’s file top102.pdf.  My goal here is to post photos of Memphis from my personal perspective.  If you are interested in preservation, you will not find any better insight than the Gates of Memphis Blog. I posed the title as a question as a challenge to those who have the resources to do something with these buildings.  Do you think they are worth it?

Left is the Goyer-Lee House in Victorian Village (c. 1871), another from the list.  It’s a beauty, but has suffered from years of neglect.  It’s under the control of the Memphis Housing Authority. Would they sell it?  Can it be zoned for residential use again, or would a commercial use be more appropriate?

At one time Vance Ave., East of Danny Thomas was lined with similar mansions.  To my knowledge only one stands, partially restored.  The others were razed, burned, or left as piles of rubble.

Buildings worth saving? (Part 5)

What to do with the Tennesssee Brewery?  They shut down production of Goldcrest 51 Beer a long time ago.  Built in 1890 this fortress is on Tennessee St. at Butler and is included in the CCC’s list of Top 10 Downtown buildings worth saving.  If  I were going to produce a horror film in Memphis, this would be the place for the interiors.   As you explore  {I was granted legal access on a few occasions} the building you stumble on vestiges of sets [Check out the scene in I Walk the Line , where young Johnny C goes into a  German music store to look at guitars-that’s the Brewery.] and the left over decorations from parties and galas, but a full tour of the building, up to the roof, is a ghostly experience.   You can almost feel the presence of the workers on the gothic staircases, feel the cold of the chiller room, and see the roustabouts loading barrels on wagons and trucks in the courtyard.

Tennessee Brewery, Memphis, TN

You have not seen the Memphis in May Fireworks until you have seen them from the roof.  This great building is high on my list of keepers.

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