More Memphis Buildings That Should Be "Untapped"

More Memphis Buildings That Should Be "Untapped"

Last year's Brewery Untapped event brought the long-abandoned Tennessee Brewery back to life for thousands of Memphians, and you could make the argument that the event's success contributed to the purchase and forthcoming renovation of the Brewery (read more about this year's "Revival" event at the Brewery here).

On this month's I Love Memphis Podcast Bonus Clip, Kevin Cerrito and I discuss what other buildings in town could benefit from the Untapped treatment. Subscribe to all of our podcasts on iTunes here.

Listen here or read and see photos below.

1. Peabody Place (150 Peabody Place)

Do you think Peabody Place's retail, movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants, and gaming area might be successful now that downtown is a bit more alive? See this News Channel 3 video from last spring for the latest on the fate of Peabody Place.

2. Toad Hall Antiques (2129 Central Ave.)

The former home of Toad Hall Antiques at the very busy Cooper and Central is currently vacant, but I think more retail or a mixed use building would do well. Last week, the Daily News gave an update on the owner's plans for the building.

3. French Quarter Hotel (Madison Ave. and Cooper St.)

photo (6)

Midtown could use a hotel for sure. Or a mixed use building. Or anything. This corner is the missing piece of Overton Square's revival. Check out the MBJ's piece from last spring about potential renovations at the French Quarter.

4. Midsouth Coliseum (Fairgrounds)

mid south coliseum

Kevin says he heard that there might be rumors that the Mid-South coliseum is going to get the "Untapped" treatment, maybe maybe later this spring. Hmmm...

5. Clayborn Temple (294 Hernando St.)

The Clayborn Temple church near FedExForum, once a hub for the Civil Rights movement in Memphis, is gorgeous inside and could benefit from an Untapped-style event. Here's an article from the Art of Abandonment blog about the Clayborn Temple.

6. The Old Raiford's (115 Vance Avenue)

The original home of Raiford's, now vacant, would be a fun place for a pop-up event. (Pop-up dance party, anyone?) Paula Raiford's idea was to turn it into a Raiford's Museum. I'll go on the record and say that I fully support this idea.

7. Sterick Building (Madison Ave. and 3rd Street)

The Sterick building is the tan one on the right.

This 1930s-era 29-story skyscraper in downtown Memphis could use some tender love and care, perhaps in the form of an Untapped-style event. If we can brick back to life Hotel Chisca and Crosstown Concourse (Sears building) then maybe the Sterick building is next. Read more about the building in this actually decent Wiki article.


What are your thoughts? What other buildings are worth saving or worth looking into saving?

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I love the old Sterick Bld, but it is an absolute albatross. There are several things working against it. First, the floors have low ceilings and there is not a full HVAC system installed. This would be a major challenge to update. I believe there are also asbestos abatement issues that go along with that, meaning that the cost of renovation would be very high.  Worst of all, the Sterick building's divided ownership (land and building) make the sale of the building almost impossible. It also means that the building owner can't guarantee a return on the significant investment it would take to repair/renovate it. Also, because it's on the National Register of Historic Places, they can't tear it down, either. Sadly, the Sterick is probably destined to sit empty until the land lease lapses. 
March 22, 2015 3:42pm

Tony King
AXA, an insurance conglomerate is the lessor of the Sterick Building when they repossessed it several years ago. The Grossover (SIC) is the land owner of the building. The building will revert back to the family around the year 2025. This will be interesting. The contract called for the owners to maintain the building. Obviously, this building has not been well maintained and I am sure lawsuits will be flying. In addition, the downtown Memphis office market is sluggish at best, so even if the building was probably maintained, it would still probably sit near empty. However, downtown Memphis is booming as a residential area, so it is possible that a funky building like this would be hip with the millennials. But, it is too big of a bite for a real estate developer. Tearing down this building would have be expensive, both with the demolition and the court costs since the property is registered as a historic landmark. Basically, the land where the building sits is not worth the eight figures a demo would cost. So, I agree with James, the building will sit empty for the foreseeable future, even after it reverts back to the original land owner.
April 30, 2017 12:44pm

William Wingo
I graduated from Memphis State University--as it was called then--at the Mid-South Coliseum, 10 May 1980. They also held wrestling there, and I remember the wrestling ring was collapsed and moved over against a wall. Also I spent my wedding night at the French Quarter Hotel, 15 March 1986. Ah, memories....
November 23, 2018 8:39am