Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Wednesday Post

Stuck Outside of Memphis With the Mobile Blues Again, Again
The U.S.A.'s 20th Largest City Wrestles With its Past.


The Kennedy VA Hospital, to my mild surprise, no longer exists.  It has been replaced by the Memphis VA Medical Center downtown, a good seven miles away.  The local neighborhood association says that the Kennedy Hospital was built in 1942 and sold to the nearby University of Memphis in 1967.  I don't have a line on when the building was torn down, but today the area is the UM "Park Avenue Campus" and consists of athletic fields, continuing education buildings, and other peripheral buildings of the kind you see around large colleges. 

That much should satisfy those of you who clamored -- clamored! -- for The Wednesday Post to include updates on the locations shown in boring postcards.  But I do not seek only to meet your expectations, I seek to exceed them.  My friends, here is what the site of the Kennedy Veterans Administration Hospital looks like....  IN THE FUTURE!!!

The University of Memphis broke ground last month on a new Community Health Building, a new facility featuring a primary care education suite for advanced practice nursing education, a 170-seat auditorium and lecture hall, a new home for the Memphis Speech and Hearing Center, and research, health assessment and skills labs. Another useful rectangular medical building rises to take the place of the old!

Cossitt Library

The Cossitt Branch Library is still there, although the folks at wish it wasn't. Memphis Cossitt Library was the most unique architectural landmark in Memphis, they write. But the city demolished it and replaced it with a horrendous eyesore.  (From this distance, I personally feel like the current building a likeable enough specimen of mid-century modernism, and find the original a bit fussy.)   It looks like the bluish vanes and brickwork have both been painted white.  


The Memphis Museum is still there, but has been rebranded for the kids -- and in submission to local parlance -- as "The Pink Palace Memphis Museum."  It is, if I'm not mistaken, a history museum that is trying not to call itself a history museum:
The Pink Palace Museum is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Southeast. You can walk through a replica of the first self-service grocery store in the country, Clarence Saunders' Piggly Wiggly. Explore the cultural and natural history of the Mid-South through exciting exhibits, dioramas, and audio-visuals. Trace Memphis' development from the time of Spanish explorers through the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemics. Learn from the award-winning medical exhibit how health care grew to be Memphis' largest industry.
When it was opened as "the Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts" in 1930, much of its original collection was taken from the old Cossitt Library.  And, it's just down the street from the University of Memphis.  Just a big small town, Memphis.  Apparently.

1 comment:

gl. said...

"But I do not seek only to meet your expectations, I seek to exceed them."

indeed! *slow clap*