VOL. 114 | NO. 228 | Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Downtown Living Goes on Show
Downtown living goes on display
By MARY DANDO
The Daily News
Anyone wishing to know what its like to live Downtown is in for a treat Sunday when the Downtown Neighborhood Association hosts its annual home tour.
The tour includes two homes in South Bluffs, one on South Main, one in Founders Pointe and two in Harbor Town.
The tour runs from noon until 6 p.m. This year, there will be three hospitality points Harbor Town Square, Central Station and The Lofts apartment building at South Bluffs.
Possibly the house that will generate most interest for those considering living Downtown would be Marcy Sieberts adaptation of commercial space at 514 S. Main St. A former retail space, Siebert tackled the renovation of this shotgun storefront three years ago. The front display windows now serve as an office and library and the house exits on to Mulberry Street.
By the time Siebert bought the property, it had already been converted into a two-bedroom, two bathroom home, but as she wanted a more open loft-style approach she called on the services of architect Joey Hagan and C & M Construction.
Siebert now has one bedroom, two bathrooms, separate dining room, separate kitchen and an open area that feels like living in a loft with a tin ceiling and exposed brick.
"I want people to see that you can combine 19th century antique furniture, modern pottery and loft style architecture and still create a cozy living space right in the heart of Downtown," Siebert said.
Since she moved to South Main, she finds she can walk to anywhere she wishes to go without having to travel by car. Her front door opens on to South Main and her back door exits on to Mulberry Street just opposite the National Civil Rights Museum.
"Downtown living is just great," she said.
As an alternative living space downtown James Murrays luxury condominium at 760 Harbor Bend Dr., part of the Harbor Town Yacht Club residential development should also draw a big crowd. Murray, vice president of architecture at A/E Designer and Consultants has created a unique living area with a view of the Mississippi River. Murray is an expert on classic architectural furniture and has the largest collection of this genre in the city including pieces by Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Eames, Charles Rennie Mackintosh of England, Hans Wegner of Denmark and Josef Hoffman.
Before moving into his condo, Murray said he was instrumental in bringing the Green Stone Apartments at Poplar and Waldran back to life. Living in the Green Stone, he restored the building to its former glory.
In moving to Harbor Town, he can continue to create a space using classic architecture in a contemporary setting. He has created different textures as part of the contemporary feeling using slate tiles as flooring instead of the more traditional hardwood.
The American Olean plant processed the slate, so that it has a honed finish but is easy underfoot and is beautiful to the eye. Murray hopes those visiting his apartment will be able to see how classic furniture can mix with a contemporary setting.
"In using different finishes, I wanted to keep the contemporary feel to the apartment," Murray said.
Another Harbor Town focus is 746 Island Dr., the home of Tim and Lisa Discenza. The Discenzas moved in October 1998, having watched the house being built.
"We have really wonderful views of the river as well as Downtown and our downstairs porch is a screened-in porch where we eat out most of the time when its warm enough but not too hot," Lisa Discenza said.
The Discenzas decided to open their house this year because they enjoyed the Downtown Tour last year.
"Its fun living Downtown. Its been real fun for us. Its just that this is a real open kind of comfortable house and thats what I have really enjoyed about it. Im sitting here downstairs and Im at the back of the house and I can see straight through to the river," she said.
The house, which is at the first entrance to Harbor Town at Island Drive, is a zero lot, which includes five balconies, a porch on three levels and gardens in the front and side yards. It was designed by David Schuermann, built by Ulhorn Builders, and decorated by Steve Linberg.
David and Kay Solomon live at 463 Monteigne Blvd. in South Bluffs. Married 33 years, Kay Solomon said living in their home in the South Bluffs has been like a second honeymoon for them.
The Solomons have been living in the three-story, red brick home for the past two years. Because of their mothers, the Solomons had an elevator built into the home that goes to the third floor which serves as a den with a wet bar, but also contains an alcove bed and a bathroom that could accommodate a wheelchair.
"This house we hope is a house that someone could grow old in," Kay Solomon said.
The house was designed by Doug Enoch, built by Johnny Williams of McWaters Williams and decorated by Ellen Riney of Grace Interiors. Originally from East Tennessee and moving to Memphis from Michigan, the Solomons have incorporated many of the pieces they collected over the years into their new home. These include antique architectural elements such as the ornamental gingerbread, and old shutters they have on the stairwell, which came from Davids old farmhouse home in East Tennessee. From their open living/dining room, the Solomons have a view of the Mississippi River as they do also from the master bedroom on the first floor.
Also located in the South Bluffs is the home of Jay and Pat Ferguson at 479 Monteigne. The Fergusons, who moved from Midtown to the South Bluffs, want visitors to feel they are in a Southern European home. Known as the "upside down home" of the Downtown Tour, the style is French Country with the kitchen and living/dining area on the second floor, and the den, office, and master bedroom on the first floor. The third floor is an office retreat, which can be converted into a private guest suite.
The house was designed by Doug Enoch, built by Jim Wagasy of Wagco Construction and the interior designed by Ellen Riney of Grace Interiors. The French Country design begins with separate garages, creating a courtyard between a fountain, benches and plants. The Fergusons spend most of their time on the second floor, which has the best view of the Mississippi.
"When you see our view you will know why we moved from Midtown," Pat Ferguson said.
Nestled between three parks and the Mississippi River and off Channel 3 Drive, Hal and Ronna Newburger have created a quiet country setting at 100 Founders Lane as part of the Founders Pointe development. Designed once again by Enoch, built by Brennon Home Builders, and decorated by Anne Newton of Bradford Furniture Showrooms, the Newburgers home has a unique circular staircase that takes the visitor to a large second story foyer opening on to a balcony with views of the Mississippi River. The front of this home has an antique door with a brass eagle doorknocker.
The view from the street with the door closed connects the home to a brick enclosed courtyard providing an additional room to the home that opens to the sky.
Advance tickets are $8 at Harbor Town Day Spa and Wellness Center, Burkes Book store, Babcock Gifts and Miguelas in Chickasaw Oaks and Saddle Creek. Tickets are $10 at the door.
The tour begins at the Harbor Town Yacht Club residences.