Putting neighborhoods on the National Register is an exhaustive, dedicated process. In this special series, the keeper of the Memphis Heritage Historic Properties Catalogue gives us snapshots of some wonderful but lesser-known historic neighborhoods.
Vollintine Evergreen Historic District
By John Dulaney
This historic district, National Register-listed in 1996, contains sixty-seven blocks of nearly 2000 primary contributing resources, most of them dwellings, and eleven 1930s WPA projects. The latter consist of the Depression-era Lick Creek channelization and ten related bridge overpasses.
To quote its National Register nomination, the district “contains the largest cohesive collection of eclectic style houses in Memphis. . . . The low number of non-contributing resources, historic outbuildings, and residential setting give the Vollintine Evergreen Historic District a high degree of integrity.”
It is bounded roughly on the north and south by Vollintine Avenue and North Parkway, and on the west and east by Watkins and University Streets. Some cottages date from ca. 1905, but most residences were built during the 1920s and ‘30s. Interspersed among these are some apartment buildings and a limited number of commercial blocks. This housing boom, and the accompanying improvements in streets and public transportation, were encouraged by eastward migration of second- and third-generation-American residents of the Greenlaw and Pinch North Main districts.
To further quote its National Register nomination, “The buildings within the district are a representation of intact and homogenous residential building stock constructed between 1946-1957 in conjunction with the development of Baron Hirsch Synagogue (below). The original 1946 plat for the neighborhood included a large reserved parcel for the eventual construction of the synagogue, which completed its first phase in 1950-52.”
Read more about Memphis’ National Register properties and all of Dulaney’s Districts featured throughout this issue of StoryBoard Memphis.
This article and all of Dulaney’s Districts originally appeared in print Issue X, the August 2019 Neighborhood Issue, front page and pages 12, 23-25.
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