Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

100 years ago, when downtown Memphis looked like this...

 ... the Cronin, Baker and Tindall building was built along the bustling 'white way' of Madison Avenue near the Mississippi River.

To keep pace with its ornate neighbors, the building features the decorative glazed terra cotta tiles that were popular at the time. Cronin, Baker and Tindall wanted to let you know that their heating, plumbing and lighting firm meant business.

In 1947 the building was taken over by Advance Rubber Stamps, who promptly followed another downtown trend -- this time it was elaborate neon signage. It was like the dignified business suit got a fancy blue bowtie.

Today it still has some of that quiet dignity, as you can see in the lobby:

(Geeky kids like mine were would love this space as a playroom, especially if some of those rubber stamps were still around. )

Upstairs is a 2 or 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath apartment that has the best of all eras-- a 1920's club/Art Deco vibe and a contemporary loft feel with exposed duct work and 17 foot high ceilings. 

I'd like to bring in a little of that 1947 bowtie idea to really dress up the place:

Here is my inspiration design:

The same goes for the kitchen, which is currently a bit of a blank slate:

Here's its fancy red bowtie:

The bedrooms haven't seen much in the way of updates, but this bathroom is already in keeping with my suggested style:

There's also a "light court" up there, which would actually make for a very cool home office.

I've already found the perfect desk accessory:

This stylish building downtown is due for another 'white way' postcard moment. There's been a bit of revitalization going on around it with new apartment buildings. It's very convenient to the tourist attractions of Beale Street's blues clubs and restaurants and just down the road from the University of Memphis law school. 

All this week I've been thinking about either "Walking in Memphis" (the Marc Cohn song) or running in Memphis (The Firm was on TV Thursday, speaking of law school). Either way, I'm apparently stuck around 1993, which is not helping when I already can't keep track of what day it is right now.

If you're a little more on top of things and in a revitalization mood, the listing is here.

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