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Landmark and Legend
Memphis, TN
Here we note legends-in-their-own-time and landmarks as they transition into history


 
2100 Union Avenue "Residence"
~1915-2012
 
The small building on Union Avenue may not have been a landmark and its demise may not be typical of what we note here. It was hardly noticed except for its bright yellow color as one passed by it at 2100 Union Avenue in Memphis in recent years. It is possible it could have been a landmark long ago, or perhaps just to be charitable it is worthy of note because of its age and it was one of the few structures built as individual residences remaining on a busy, commercialized section of Union Avenue.

On August 21, 2012, the little yellow building was demolished to make way for a new
Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant.

The old building appeared
to once have been a residence believed to have been built in 1915. As of the spring of 2011, it was commercial property occupied by Mid-South Title Loans. The property sold in April, 2011 for about $250,000, including a vacant lot behind the building. Although the loan company had hoped to renew its lease for the long term, it apparently was not allowed to do so. At the time, the new owner, Taylor Caruthers of the tax consulting firm Caruthers and Associates, said he had some preliminary drawings for a store or restaurant on the land. Memphis Heritage Executive Director June West said she would welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. Caruthers to find a way to adapt and reuse the old home. "Certainly, it's part of the character of the street. Not only were there big mansions up and down Union, but small ones as well," said West.

Even though the building had become commercial and was not an example of the mansions which once graced the roadside, it was one of the few reminders of the day when Union Avenue was largely a residential street.