Day: September 25, 2008

A few more Memphis Highlights

A few quick observations after spending the last 24 hours in Memphis… Any first-time visitor to the city has to make time to see the National Civil Rights Museum.  (Photo at the beginning of the post.)  I spent an hour on a tour with the museum’s curator and the head of Memphis Heritage this morning, and I’ve seldom been as moved as when standing between the restored rooms 306 (Dr. Martin Luther King’s room) and 307, viewing the balcony at the Lorraine Motel.  One listens to excerpts from his final “Mountaintop” speech, delivered the night before, and then looks up to see the boarding house across the street where history changed.  Later in the tour, the view is reversed, as you stand next to James Earl Ray’s bathroom and see the balcony, with the historic cars parked outside beneath a large wreath.  Very powerful. Tracey gave us an insiders tour.  We talked a great deal about the decisions behind the original exhibit and the thinking now underway for future exhibits.  I was pleased to see a section added with the support …

Passing 1,000

Sometime between leaving Memphis this morning and arriving home this evening, More to Come…the DJB Blog passed 1,000 page views.  I started this blog less than 45 days ago as a way to update family and friends on our western trip this summer, but it has become a bit of therapy over the intervening six weeks.  Some fun stats:  the highest day of activity had 73 page views; the lowest had two.  I only started to figure out how to use this tag thing to attract visitors in the past two weeks, so my numbers since then have been much higher.  I realize 1,000 page views isn’t a lot in the blogosphere, but I’m okay with that.  Thanks to you for reading and for passing along some great comments. More to come… DJB

Modernism, Ribs, and Wynonna

I’m in Memphis for a talk sponsored by AIA Memphis and Memphis Heritage and I soon discovered that this is a city that surprises. Nothing catches your eye so quickly as the wealth of historic buildings that remain throughout the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.  In fact, according to Memphis Heritage the city ranks sixth in the nation in the number of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The day began with a tour of a terrific preservation project at the Lincoln American Tower.  In the past ten years, the downtown has seen a number of buildings brought back online by enterprising developers such as Willie Chandler and architect Chooch Pickard.  (The “Chooch” is a high-school nickname for “Choo Choo Charlie.”)  Willie and Chooch gave me a top to bottom tour of the Tower and adjacent Lowenstein Building (see photo at right) which is under renovation right on Main Street.  This mixed-use development has incredible views of the downtown, Court Square Park, and – of course – the Mississippi River.  Downtown housing units …