VOL. 115 | NO. 200 | Monday, November 26, 2001
By JENNIFER MURLEY
struts its stuff in home tour
Downtown Memphis becomes an increasing credible place to live, work and play,
residents within the community are eagerly embracing the chance to show off
their urban digs in the upcoming fifth annual Downtown Home Tour.
tour, sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association, is noon to 6 p.m.
any other neighborhood in town, Downtown boasts a variety of living spaces
ranging from industrial lofts to historic cottages, all of which will be on
display during the tour.
the most diverse of any neighborhood you could go to in Memphis, and were
trying to go from end to end, said Donna McComas, DNA tour chairman.
checking in for tickets and free refreshments at the Harbor Town Yacht Club
Residences on Mud Island, the tour starts with a spin around the recently
renovated home of Nancy Thomas at 802 Harbor Isle Circle West.
part of the first Harbor Town home renovation, Thomas completely gutted parts
of the 10-year-old home, effectively transforming the interior into a new
space, while at the same time preserving the exterior and surrounding gardens,
which drip with Old South flavor.
next site, winner of the 1993 Vesta Home Show, is the nearby home of Andy and
Suzanne Hamm at 855 Harbor Isle Circle West. In addition to its creative flair
and modern amenities, the home, just two blocks away from the Maria Montessori
School, showcases Harbor Towns success as a self-contained community providing
residents with shopping and services such as dry cleaning and video rental, as
well as child care and educational facilities.
there, the tour bootlegs into Memphis oldest suburb and the site of massive
revitalization efforts, the Greenlaw Historic District. Delicately couched
between a recently renovated 1899 firehouse and a variety of antiquated housing
stock, sits the 19th century cottage of John Griffin and Russell Armstrong at
194 Looney Ave. Considered by many to be a work of art in itself, the home was
rehabilitated by Griffin, a design consultant, in the 1970s from a duplex to a
subtle recessed lighting, expansive living spaces and well-preserved wood
floors complement the owners unique collection of art and handcrafted furniture.
tourists can ditch their vehicles along North Main Street and hop on the
trolley for a free ride, courtesy of Memphis Area Transit Authority, which will
be manned with docents from Memphis Heritage giving complimentary architectural
tours of Downtown.
first trolley stop is the home of John Palmer and David Ousset who occupy the
ninth floor of Memphis first skyscraper, the D.T. Porter Building at 10 N.
Main St. The 1895 building initially known as the Continental Bank Building was
converted to condominiums in 1991, with three commercial businesses occupying
the lower levels.
6,800-square-foot home of Bell and Linda Felts at 400 S. Main St. is the next
attraction on the tour. The Felts occupy the second story of the 1913 building,
which theyve spent the past five years renovating.
another complimentary refreshment stop will be located at South Mains Central
Station, where tourists opting to begin the home show from the south end can
also buy tickets.
up is the Orgill warehouse at 505 and 515 Tennessee St., which in addition to
housing a number of high-tech startup companies, also contains 125 residential
young professionals, Christina Ross, Sophie Walker and Regan Rozypal, plan to
display their industrial loft apartments, replete with exposed brick, concrete
floors, mile-high ceilings and sturdy timber.
tour will culminate with a free horse-drawn carriage ride down cobblestone
streets through the exclusive South Bluffs community to the three-story home of
Jerry and Bobbi Gillis at 567 Magnolia Mound Drive. An antique 14-passenger
Yellow Cab bus also will be on hand to provide free South Bluffs shuttle
expecting a much larger crowd this year, because the quality of the tour has
increased every year, McComas said.
are encouraging people to purchase advance $8 tickets at Harbor Town Gift and
Garden, Bennett Stained Glass, Market Central, Madison Avenue Antique Mall,
Babcock Gifts and The Gift Horse in Germantown.
can be purchased the day of the event at either Central Station on South Main
or at the Harbor Town Yacht Club for $12.