1530 Peabody - The Smith House
This impressive home is located on Lot 74 of the 1923 John F. Kimbrough Union Avenue Subdivision and was built by architect J. Frazer Smith. A complex person, Smith wrote a history of the early nineteenth-century plantation architecture called White Pillars: The Architecture of the South and simultaneously designed housing projects sensitive to recent international developments in housing design.
Once a duplex, Mayor Walter C. Chandler was renting one half of this home when he was elected mayor of Memphis in January 1940 and when he was reelected in 1943. His son, J. Wyeth, later served as mayor of Memphis from 1972 until 1982.
Smith’s signature style is evident in the graceful, two-story Colonial Revival building trimmed with brick veneer wall cladding, triple hipped-roof dormers and incised front porch with a center entry topped with a fanlight transom. The second floor of the façade has tripartite Palladian windows on the far sides and keystones top the double-hung multi-light windows on the ground floor. The elevated, level site is dotted with hardwoods and shrubbery, and inviting rocking chairs sit on the welcoming front porch.
1554 Peabody - Hillcrest
One of Central Gardens’ most iconic homes is a stately limestone mansion named Hillcrest. It was originally the residence of two widows, Mrs. Walter Goodman and her daughter, Mrs. John M. Richardson. The widows purchased the property and commissioned the fashionable and famous architectural firm of Jones and Furbringer to design their new abode, which was completed in 1907.
This ashlar cut stone Colonial Revival building is a simple rectangle with a tiled hip roof. The pedimented wall dormers on the façade are typical of early examples. The tripled ground floor windows have transoms, and the second story boasts double-hung paired windows. A cast turned stone balustrade decorates the partial porch and the terrace. The home is noted by Dr. Eugene J. Johnson and Robert D. Russell, Jr. in their book, Memphis: an Architectural Guide. A brick and wrought iron fence encloses the elevated corner lot.
1355 Peabody - The Oliver House
Although within the Central Gardens historic district boundaries, this 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 O. Vinton, a local land developer and banker.
Its first residents were John N. Oliver and wife Ella who occupied it in 1910. He was the president of the Memphis Cold Storage Company. Oliver died at the residence in 1912 when he was 93 years old. Ella continued to reside there until her death at age 78 in 1918. The next year the property became the residence of Thomas Vinton who lived there until the 1930s.
The architect of this Colonial Revival home is unknown, but Jones and Furbringer could have designed its many high-style features. The tile hip roof is very similar to the one at 1554 Peabody, as is the stone wall cladding. However, the Victorian-era Mr. Oliver may have requested the wraparound porch, a Victorian throwback, as is the off-center single light entry with full transoms and the large cottage window on the ground floor of the façade, and the stained glass in the arched window on the second floor.
1348 Carr - The Long-Sellers House
This home was most likely built for Kate Izard Long and her husband and young son. Mrs. Long was a member of the well-established political family from Arkansas, the Izards. Her father was an Arkansas state senator, and her grandfather was the second governor of Arkansas. It is believed that the house suffered a fire soon after the Long family moved in and was lovingly restored by the next owners.
The 1909 hipped roof, two-story brick, modified American Foursquare house is a subtype of the Eclectic House movement, which began quietly in the last decades of the 19th century. This house has a full-front porch and a side porch addressing the Cleveland Street elevation. Prairie touches include an entry with three-quarter sidelights and a three-part transom with leaded stained glass. The stained-glass pattern repeats throughout the house on other doors and windows including a majestic tri-parte window on the stairwell on the west side.
In 2002, the cast and crew of 21 Grams used the home as production space during filming, and the exterior of home appears in the film.
1566 Carr - The Crosby House
According to the Polk City Directory, this high-style brick residence was under construction in 1909 and occupied 1910. The first owners were Harry Howard and Emma Tuther Crosby. He was president of National City Bank at 111 Madison and vice-president and treasurer of Riechman-Crosby Company, which manufactured parts for sawmills at the turn of the century.
Memphis: An Architectural Guide calls out this house for its powerful curved wall in the central projection over the stone front porch. The symmetry of this building’s mass as well as the arched first-floor façade windows with keystones are Classic Colonial Revival. However, the wrap-around porch and unusual diamond lights in the second story windows evoke the Queen Anne style. The Italian Renaissance tiled hipped roof and ornate paired brackets in the cornice, the Mission-shaped ornament on the wall parapet, and the glorious Prairie-style beveled glass in the door, sidelights, and transom add charming variety to this eclectic house.
571 S. Belvedere - The Work House
Capitalizing on the popularization of golfing, Charles F. and Annie Few Work built this imposing residence in 1925. Mr. Work and his family owned C. F. Work & Sons, Inc., manufacturers of hardwood specialties, including golf clubs.
This brick Colonial Revival style house is an Eclectic House style (1880-1955), which was a dominant style for domestic buildings throughout the country during the first half of the 20th century. This rectangular house with a tile-hipped roof has a full porch and a one-story side addition with three French doors opening onto a terrace. It boasts a sixteen-light Craftsman door and paired, multi-light Colonial Revival windows.
581 S. Belvedere - The Strong House
Dr. Eugene Johnson describes this home, which was constructed in 1921, in Memphis: An Architectural Guide, “as a low, delicately detailed, classical pavilion offering a welcome respite from the ponderous rhythms of the houses that surround it.”
The home was sold to its most eccentric owner, the Baroness Mary McFall de Guzenburg, in March 1971. As a child, Mary discovered and nurtured what would become her lifelong passion for art; she studied and excelled at ballet and spent countless hours drawing and reading. She pursued her love for the fine arts in New York, where she took classes at the Art Students League to develop her craft as an impressionist painter. Mary sold the property in September 1976 to Dr. Leonard Eugene Franklin, an anesthesiologist.
The residence is an Eclectic style Mediterranean villa with a rectangular form with the long side facing the street. The palazzo shape wonderfully displays the round headed entrance systems, symmetrical fenestration, and a center entrance hall. The ornamentation here includes iron railings, twin columns with carved urns, and pastel-colored stucco wall cladding.