Home Tour Detour: Hidden gems in Central Gardens

“Selfie” homes help highlight the neighborhood’s diverse architectural styles, hidden gems and landmarks alike

Jim Williamson, in his introduction to the neighborhood’s architectural guide Central Gardens Handbook, writes that “to those who live in older neighborhoods is entrusted the care of an irreplaceable legacy for future generations.”

That irreplaceable legacy, on virtual display this year, is honored by the annual Central Gardens Home & Garden Tour. That legacy belongs equally to each of the 1500+ homes in the neighborhood, large and small, both the iconic and the lesser-known, hidden gems.

Patrons of the virtual tour detour this year are invited to physically visit these homes, take a selfie, and submit them in for a chance at one of three generous prizes. Below are some highlights of the Selfie homes on detour.

(Excerpts and photos are from the Tour Detour website)

The Oliver House, 1355 Peabody Ave, Built 1910

Excerpt: “Although within the Central Garden’s historic district boundaries, the impressive residence is on Lot 44 of the 1903 Annesdale Park subdivision. One of the first high quality residential subdivisions in the city, it was co-developed by R. Brinkley Snowden, real estate investor and banker, and his brother, J. Bayard Snowden, great grandsons of progenitor Judge John Overton and Thomas 0. Vinton, a local land developer and banker.” Read more here>>

American Legion “Magic House,” 295 Kimbrough Place, Built 1935

Magic House yesterday and today. Left, in an undated photo from Central Gardens–Stories of a Neighborhood, right from CGA Home Tour Detour

Excerpt: “A house still known to many Memphis residents as ‘The Magic House.’ Originally built as a ‘show house’ to demonstrate new products and technologies for residential construction, the Magic House was open to the public in August 1935; proceeds from the tours were donated to the American Legion. The nickname of ‘The Magic House’ originated in the publicity for the event and has stayed with a property ever since.”

The Wellford House, 205 S. Belvedere Blvd, Built 1903

Wellford House, today and yesterday. Photo at right, 1905 (CGA Home Tour Detour)

Excerpt: “Built as a story-and-a-half house in 1903 for Walker Wellford, prominent political figure and president of the barrel-making Chickasaw Wood Products Company, the terraced front lawn was created when (Belvedere) boulevard was cut through as a level Parkway.” Read more>>

Mayor E. H. “Boss” Crump House, 1962 Peabody Avenue, Built 1909

Excerpt: “One of the most famous residents of the neighborhood now known as Central Gardens was Edward Hull Crump. Known as “Boss” Crump because of his involvement in politics for most of the first half of the twentieth century, his house, completed the first year of his first term as Mayor of Memphis, reflected his admiration for civic duty. Columns in a version of the Roman interpretation of the Greek Doric order impose an immediate sense of neoclassicism on the 1909 residence that is also a variation on the Prairie style, popular at the time.” Read more>>

The Patton House, 1736 York Avenue, Built in 1922

Excerpt: “York Avenue sits on the southern most part of Central Gardens. While officially included in the footprint of Central Gardens, the residents have created their own area association, York Avenue Area Neighborhood Association, and the neighbors are organized and passionate advocates for their historic block. At any time if you were to stroll along this beautifully adorned street, with its well-maintained, expansive medians and its impressive canopy of trees, you might find neighbors gathered in conversation on the sidewalk or sharing a meal on their front porches.

“Built in 1922, this one-story stucco home, with Doric columns and screened-in side porch, was first home to James Buchann and Sally M. Patton.” Read more>>

Central Gardens’ Home Tour Detour and “Selfies-For-Prizes” runs from September 13 to 27.

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