The history of family estates in Memphis seems forever intertwined with subdivisions. Often a generation or so after a rural retreat was established, and as the city grew in that direction, the heirs carved up the acreage and divided the proceeds. Fortunately, Memphis still has many such grand houses on, of course, circumscribed lots.
Annesdale set the pattern. The house was built in 1855 outside the city limits on a 200-acre estate that was subdivided 50 years later by Robert Brinkley Snowden. The family lands north of Lamar were subdivided in 1903, and Annesdale Park was laid out. Its success prompted a second development in 1906, carved out right around the family home south of Lamar and named Annesdale-Snowden.
Clarence Saunders built the Pink Palace as his residence in 1922, situated just north of the Memphis Country Club. Saunders suffered an economic reversal, and the 160-acre property was subdivided. The result: Chickasaw Gardens.
At the same time that Saunders' estate was being carved up, the Pidgeon and the Crump families flocked to Goodlett, around Poplar and Walnut Grove. Six grand houses were constructed on Poplar, Tuckahoe, Gwynne, and both sides of Walnut Grove in the late 1920s and early 1930s by these closely connected families.
J. Everett Pidgeon built his home north of Walnut Grove. The house was designed by local architect George Mahan Jr. and modeled after George Washington's Mount Vernon. So it seems only logical that Colonial Revival houses would fill the lots created from this country estate in the 1950s.
This Colonial Revival is graced with extra-tall windows, and the effect is enhanced by the old brick sidewalk that leads to the recessed front entry. White marble on the fireplace surround and hearth continues the classic touch inside. Unexpectedly, the dining room features a central domed ceiling with a hand-painted stone finish.
The kitchen has had a crisp remodel and incorporates an earlier breakfast room into the new space. There is now a large ell of work surface atop white cabinets with a tumbled marble backsplash. Amplifying the traditional feel, a new oak floor perfectly matches the rest of the house. A large storage wall offers pantry, laundry, and recycling areas.
The house's other notable feature is a rear addition that includes a spacious family room with equally well-matched oak floors. Down a few steps beyond the family room is a very private master suite. It has taller ceilings and an attached bonus room suitable for office, nursery, or exercise space.
This is a lovely, well-kept house that readily conquers the challenge of finding a traditional home updated for modern living. •
Approximately 2,477 sq. ft.
3 bedroom, 3 baths
Realtor: Hobson Co., 761-1622
Agent: Allen Hamblin, 312-2968