Location: 652-707 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
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, upper photo) and the Mallory-Neely House (1852, lower photo). Other well-known 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, several still remain as museums, bed and breakfast inns, and restaurants, making the area a major destination spot in the city. In 2020, restoration work began on the ca. 1850s Greek Revival-type Pillow-McIntyre House on the south-east corner of Adams Avenue and N. Orleans Street. Developer and preservationist Bill Townsend added this ante-bellum home to his collection of historic Memphis properties in 2022. Working with Memphis Heritage, he has plans to use part of the building as headquarters of his development team, and convert another section into an antique store. Victorian Village District is one of the National Register-listed districts recognized (and protected) by the City of Memphis as a local historic district or Historic Overlay District.
City Council District: 7
Super District: 8
County Commission District: 8