Historic landmark to be demolished in Midtown

Historic landmark to be demolished in Midtown

(WMC-TV) - A historic building is scheduled to be demolished in Midtown Memphis. The Nineteenth Century Club on Union Avenue will be torn down by its new owners, despite opposition from many wishing to preserve the landmark.

The new owners of the 106-year-old mansions showed up in environmental court Monday, along with several of the people opposed to their plan. In the end, only one side of the argument appeared to be pleased with the judge's ultimate decision.

Joey Hagen belongs to Memphis Heritage, a preservation group fighting to stop the new owners from destroying the building.

"It's a travesty," he said. "I mean there are all kind of ways to save that building and do something useful with it."

The judge agreed, even telling the group's attorney, Linda Mathis, that he would like for them to consider saving part of the building. But even though the judge wants to see it stay, he said he can find no legal way to stop the owners from tearing it down.

"The demolition permit has been applied for," said Mathis. "And the judge wants us to come back with a plan."

A plan for demolition.

The future is not looking bright for the landmark that stands on Union Avenue, but Memphis Heritage says their fight to save the Nineteenth Century Club is not over.

"I can assure you that if that thing comes down, Midtown, Central Gardens, the friends of historic preservation in Memphis are not going to support whatever goes back," said Hagen.

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