Address: 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis
Architectural Style: Romanesque American
Original Function/Purpose: Residential
History: One of Memphis’s most unique museums was originally built as a residence for Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly, the first self service grocery store chain. The building’s architect Hubert T. McGee referred to its style as “Romanesque American Rambling Design.” The house was named Cla-Le-Clare for Saunders’ three children but was dubbed the “Pink Palace” by Memphians due to the pink hue of the marble used to construct it. Before moving in, Saunders planned for the house to feature a lake, golf course, shooting range and bowling alley, but this was not in the cards. After spending over $1 million on its construction, Saunders lost his fortune and never lived in the house. The land was sold to developers and subdivided, and the area became known as Chickasaw Gardens. The house and surrounding 10 acres were given to the city, and the museum opened in 1930. The Pink Palace was remodeled in 1977 and again in 1993-94; among the latter renovations was an IMAX theatre.
City Council District: 5
Super District: 9
County Commission District: 10