Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Great Streets And Neighborhoods Of Memphis

To help out the American Planning Association's Great Places in America campaign to find America's 10 great streets and 10 great neighborhoods, we are looking for the best of Memphis.

Here’s what you suggested, so we’re sending these along to our APA friends for their consideration (including our recommendation of South Belvedere as the street and Vollintine-Evergreen as the neighborhood):


Definitely Vollintine-Evergreen - it features the Greenline, an expanding commercial strip (can't wait for Cafe Eclectic to open), one of the best public schools in the city, Rhodes College, a very active community association, designation as an historic district, and a genuinely diverse population.


Cowden Avenue, within The Joffre Area Civic Association, is a great place to live. Cowden is immediately adjacent to the Pink Palace Museum, IMAX and Planetarium.

On the other side of the Pink Palace is the Chickasaw Garden's neighborhood which, in addition to some of the most expensive and beautiful houses in the region, also boasts a lake and water fowl preserve which are great places to run, walk or observe natural beauty. Directly to the South of Cowden is the Memphis County Club. There will be no development on that land and they have one of the best private 4th of July firework displays in the region.
To the North, there is East High School and park with running track, paved walking trail, baseball diamond, soccer fields and playground. Cowden is a short walk from the main Public Library and the shops of Chickasaw Oaks (La Baguette bakery, etc). A little further down the road, but still a manageable walk is the University of Memphis campus with its endless cultural and educational attractions.

The annual 4th of July parade starts on Cowden and brings together residents and former residents who appreciate the greatness of this neighborhood. On any given night, you will find neighbors talking in their yards or on the sidewalks, kids playing and riding bikes, or an impromptu bar-b-q. Honorary resident Harry Estes is a credit to the neighborhood and humanity. He has dedicated his life to being a friend to everyone on Cowden. What a place.

Left Wing Cracker:

How about Peabody from Bellevue to McLean? That's a gorgeous area on the northern borders of Central Gardens and Idlewild, and lots of interesting houses.


South Main from National Civil Rights Musuem to GE Patterson is a great example of small businesses, restaurants, boutiques and residents (owners and renters) converging on a single street.


Cooper-Young is also a great street/junction for much the same reason. And with the new arts festival on South Main this October, both street/junctions will offer great local festivals.


One vote for Chickasaw Gardens


Overton Park between McLean and Evergreen for having survived the plan to gut that area with an interstate. Fortunately that area is a historic district so the new houses blend in nicely with the old.