Central Gardens, Memphis

at , Memphis, 38104 United States

Central Gardens, Memphis

Memphis , TN 38104
United States
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Central Gardens is a historic Memphis neighborhood in Midtown. It has been named one of North America's best "Old House Neighborhoods."GeographyCentral Gardens is bound by York Avenue on the south, Eastmoreland Avenue on the north, Rembert Street on the east, and Cleveland Street on the west.HistoryListed on the National Register of Historic Places, Central Gardens was built primarily between 1850 and 1930 and originally served as home to the city's wealthy middle-class residents who moved east during the heyday of the cotton boom along with the expanding city limits, which by 1900 shifted to East Parkway in what is now Midtown. Originally part of the estate of Solomon Rozelle, who had settled in Shelby County in 1815 on 1,600 acres of then wooded wilderness, the land that became Central Gardens was inherited by Rozelle's children upon his death in 1840, according to historian Barbara B. Viser. Records from 1853 document that C. W. Rozelle owned 30 acres of what became Central Gardens. Also in 1853, Judge William Roland Harris bought 40 acres from B. L. Rozelle and built his home, Clanlo Hall, on what is now Central Avenue. Clanlo and the Rozelle House on Harbert Avenue, both c. 1853, were the only two homes in the neighborhood at the time. They are the oldest homes in Central Gardens. Unlike the nearby Annesdale neighborhood, which was created as a smaller, single subdivision, Central Gardens is made up of several subdivisions, such as Merriman Park, the Harbert Place subdivision, Bonnie Crest, as well as several large estates that were subdivided.Viser identifies 1900-1929 as the "boom years" for Central Gardens, the period in which it was "the newest, most prestigious neighborhood" in Memphis, with homes ranging from "elegant mansions to Queen Anne cottages and cozy bungalows." Streetcars provided convenient transportation to downtown Memphis. Central Gardens has been home to Mayor E. H. Crump, Clarence Saunders, Mayor Walter Chandler, Memphis grocer Frank Montesi, Sr., photographer William Eggleston, soprano Marguerite Piazza, Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, entrepreneur Abe Plough, preservationist June West, and Crissy Haslam, wife of Tennessee governor Bill Haslam.

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