Robert S. Bowles Houses

Status: Demolished; delisted July 22, 1980

Address: 544-548 Vance Avenue, Memphis

Built: 1876

Architectural Style: Victorian Italianate

The Robert S. Bowles Houses were placed on the National Register on Dec. 16, 1979.

History: An early description of the Bowles Houses reads: “The three-unit brick row house on Vance Avenue was built in 1876 for Robert S. Bowles, a successful cotton broker. It sits on a raised foundation of brick which has been stuccoed and scored to simulate stone. The only surviving row house in Memphis, the Bowles House maintains most of its marginal architectural detailing in the Italianate style.” The Bowles family appears to have lived here for only a few years, however. The houses ware listed on the National Register along with four others at the same time, but unlike the Bowles Houses, the others still survive: the Capt. Harris House, the Boyce-Gregg House, the Bradford-Maydwell House, and the E.H. Crump House. The structure was also included as a contributing property (No. 13) in the now-delisted Vance-Pontotoc Historic District. The photo above was taken on June 16, 1977 as part of a survey of Memphis buildings endangered by urban renewal. (That project was done in collaboration with the Tennessee Historical Commission; the records are now part of the Memphis Heritage Cultural Resources Survey in the Memphis and Shelby County Room of Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.) The site is now a vacant lot across the street from the Cornelia Crenshaw Memorial Library.

 

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN