Eyesore on South Main demolished - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Eyesore on South Main demolished

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Business owners on South Main found a big surprise on their street on Thursday morning.

A long-blighted property, known to most as the bison mural building, was being torn down.

"It was a beautiful facade through the building," Soda Pop Shop owner Mignonne Wright said. "You'd peek through the windows to see what it was like back there. Big hole, giant pit, but the outside of it was really nice."

Downtown Memphis Commission representative Paul Morris said the building was actually a vacant lot with a facade. Interior designer Lee Pruitt owns the property.

In the last few years, people have presented several proposals for how to use the space. Recently, however, the famous bison mural came down and a fence went up.

"The fire department noticed in a recent windstorm that the top of the wall looked a little bit unstable," Morris said. "For safety reasons, they ordered the property owner to put up a fence around it."

Morris added that Pruitt and the Downtown Memphis Commission agreed to remove about two feet off of the top part of the wall and secure the remaining part of the wall to keep it from falling. However, by noon Thursday, the entire wall was gone.

Pruitt explained that when crews began to take the top part of the wall down, it was no longer structurally sound and they had to remove all of it.

Pruitt said he does not have any immediate plans for the property. Morris hopes it doesn't create more blight. Local businesses hope it becomes a neighborhood destination.

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