Fortner Furniture/BoJos Antiques
one does not realize he/she has driven past a landmark hundreds of
times, but time will tell. In fact, it's largely abut the clock.
Susan Hedgepeth, daughter of Frank Fortner who with his brother built the furniture store in the mid-1930s, says she does not remember how the store got the clock, but it quickly turned into a Summer Avenue landmark and was better than a street address for getting people to the store. "Everyone would just say, 'Look for the Sealy Posturepedic clock.'" (The Commercial Appeal)
According to business neighbors, the clock stopped working about 2006. The Fortner family, however, is interested in keeping and restoring it, though they do not know where it might end up. The demolition team said they would try to preserve it for them.
The clock was not on the original store, but came later. Summer Avenue was a bustling retail area from Highland eastward though at least the 1970s. As higher end retail moved away, the Fortners closed the furniture store at 3400 Summer in 1985. BoJo's Antique Mall moved a little later and operated there for 20 years until mild 2011.
"Jimmy Ogle, the foot soldier of Memphis history, describes the building as 'an outstanding example of midcentury modern architecture,' calling it probably the best local example of commercial-retail architecture of that era. 'It has always been an iconic building to me,' he said. (The Commercial Appeal)
As of late 2011, the building was being demolished. It will be replaced by a Family Dollar Store.