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Hot Property: 106-year-old Queen Anne home offers best of Midtown’s vibrant street life
A century-old house loaded with character is for sale at a lively corner in Cooper-Young.
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Hot Property: 106-year-old home is in the middle of Cooper-Young neighborhood. Wochit
The old house for sale in the heart of the Cooper-Young neighborhood offers a lot more than 1,500 square feet, two bedrooms, bathroom as well as a guesthouse.
The bonus at 1021 Blythe: an authentic, dyed-in-the-wool, genuine, all-in lifestyle of a Midtowner.
It’s not just that the house is 106 years old and reflects the not-very suburban look of Queen Anne architecture.
Rather, this is a house designed for social interaction with friends and friendly strangers alike. And it’s located for short, easy walks to restaurants, coffee shops, a bookstore, nightspots and community events.
The L-shaped, wrap-around porch is close enough to the sidewalks at the southwest corner of Blythe and Walker that porch-dwellers hardly have to raise their voices to engage with passers-by.
Directly across Walker is First Congo, the congregation that has redefined how church property can be used and shared seven days a week. First Congo houses everything from a hostel to beehives, Bible study to art parties, a community bike shop to a community garden.
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Just one block north of the house are the restaurants, nightspots, coffee shops and even book store (Burke’s) of the Cooper-Young business district.
Artist Chere Doiron (pronounced DWAR en) has owned the house since 2007 and lived there until about 2.5 years ago when she married and moved to Bartlett. Since her move, she has offered the place for short-term rental through Airbnb.
“I’m from south Louisiana,” Doiron said. “So very much like Memphians, the connection to neighborhood and the connection to people is one of the primary priorities and enjoyment of my life. So having friends in, and being part of, a neighborhood, (and) knowing people who live down the street reminds me very much of my upbringing in a small, south Louisiana town.”
The home could use a few cosmetic improvements, like exterior paint and some plaster work inside. But Doiron said she has completed the more substantial projects, having replaced the furnace, put on a new roof, installed new sewer lines, renovated the kitchen and bathroom, replaced the central air-conditioning compressor, installed a tankless hot water system, and completed $12,000 worth of foundation repairs.
The house features 12-foot ceilings, transom windows and a guesthouse with a colorful history. The first owner worked for what is now the Norfolk Southern Railroad whose tracks cross just a block south of the home, Doiron said.
The first structure the railroad man built at 1021 Blythe was the guesthouse. He rented it to horse trainers who worked nearby at the old Montgomery Park Racetrack (which became the Midsouth Fairgrounds). Once he saved enough money, he built the main house.
The front of the house features a serious porch described by Doiron as a “consistent gathering place.” At least a half-dozen chairs line the porch.
“The neighborhood as you know is very pedestrian,” she said. “So people are constantly walking by with dogs, without dogs, on bikes… So I have consistently enjoyed interacting with friends and neighbors and many dogs…
“It’s the model of the American neighborhood which we have grown to value so much and people try to re-create to the best of their ability with varying degrees of success,” Doiron said. “This is a stellar neighborhood.”
About the home
Location: 1021 Blythe
Details: This 106-year-old Queen Anne home offers three big things: Charm, location and a rustic guesthouse primed for friends and family or paying guests via Airbnb. The home is practically at the center of the Cooper-Young neighborhood and less than a block from the businesses. You can people watch from the large front porch, or insulate yourself in the backyard behind wood fences and in the shade of huge oaks.
List price: $220,000
Contact: Leslie Carter, affiliate broker, Sowell & Company Realtors, (901) 278-4380 (office) or (901) 412-7654 (cell)
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