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Victorian Village District

Status: Preserved

Location: 652-690 Adams and 669-688 Jefferson Avenues, Memphis

Built: Mid-1800s to 1890s

Architectural Style: Various: French and Italianate Victorian, Greek Revival

Original Function/Purpose: Residential

The Victorian Village District was placed on the National Register on Dec. 11, 1972.

History: As a result of the city’s economic boom of the 1830s and 1840s, a few wealthy Memphians built grand, Victorian-style homes in what was then farmed countryside, far from the urban development of the city. The area remained the center of power, wealth, and elegance well into the early twentieth century. Between 1925 and 1959 it became known as a center for arts, with the Memphis Free Art School established in the Lee or Goyer-Lee House, later to expand into the Fontaine house, and the Memphis Art Association housed in the Carriage House and later in the Pillow-McIntyre House. Two other noteworthy homes on Adams are the Massey House (ca. 1846, top picture) and the Mallory-Neely House (1852, bottom picture). Other famous institutions originating in Victorian Village include Christian Brothers College (late 1800s) and the Juvenile Court (1910). The neighborhood saw a decline after the art schools moved to Overton Park in 1959, but has enjoyed preservation efforts since the 1980s. While many of the original homes have been demolished, a few still remain as museums, bed and breakfast inns, and restaurants, making the area a major destination spot in the city. Victorian Village District is one of nine National Register-listed districts recognized (and protected) by the City of Memphis as a local historic district or Historic Overlay District.

 

Map:

Outline of the Victorian Village District.

 

City Council District: 7

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN