Revival raises question: Is Memphis overdoing it?

May 1, 2014 – A trolly sits at the intersection of South Main and G.E. Patterson. (Mike Brown/The Commercial Appeal)

Signs of revival were plentiful last week as South Main neighborhood leaders capped a three-year push to translate the district’s eclectic, historic, artistic identity into a brand.

A construction crew poured new sidewalks in front of historic storefronts, part of a $30 million, government-funded project to create a walking and biking path from Downtown to West Memphis; contractors continued work on 400 new apartments in multiple projects worth nearly $50 million; and a Cotton Museum curator took measurements for a planter to grow cotton in a new bocce ball park at Main and Talbot.

South Main Association leaders served a lunch to “influencers” and unveiled a new logo, visitor’s guide and historic walking tour during an event at South Of Beale restaurant. Then, right on cue, two workers and a bucket truck came along installing street banners emblazoned with the newly minted brand: Legendary South Main.

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