Bryan and I have been fascinated with this old building next to the Ornamental Metal Museum. We haven't heard anything in the news about it so we always talked about what it could be, or picture ourselves rescuing it. Or just sitting on the front porch.
This massive, old, abandoned building sits high up on the Mississippi River Bluff. Across the street are historic Indian mounds and next door is the Ornamental Metal Museum. It's a little out of the ways from Downtown Memphis and can be difficult to find. Half the time we go to this area (known as the French Fort area) we end up going to Arkansas.
Our architectural group, AIA LuniTects, was invited to tour the space last week. We were super excited to finally get a glimpse of this building.
And it's surrounding structures. The building above was original to the property and was used as a nurses building. We weren't able to go in as it is structurally unsafe.
Through that opening straight ahead you can access the grounds of the Metal Museum and one of the best view of the bluff.
A glimpse inside the nurses building.
Inside the hospital - which was a merchant marine hospital, not the armed forces marine hosptial - it was pretty rough. While the structure is mostly concrete and in good condition, paint is chipping, ceiling tiles crumbling, broken glass every where, and tons of salvaged materials from other places stored inside. Lighting was bad, so forgive the blurry photos.
We met with an owner/developer of the grounds and an architect who has designed future plans for the building and surrounding area. The plan is to turn the old hospital into apartments or condos. They have big plans for the whole area that will be exciting as well. This room, on the second floor, has the best river view. Mom has declared this apartment hers.
This is the same room, just a wider angle.
The back part of the building, which was actually the original part of the hospital, had more hospital-ly rooms.
A massive light.
A place for things sanitary or unsanitary.
At some point the hospital was owned and run by the Army National Guard.
Also on the grounds was a maintenance building pictured below.
The big windows in this building remind me of the apartment we lived in at the Lenox School. I think something similar would be perfect here.
The plans to renovate this area start next year when the city has agreed to make the area more accessible. The greater plans also include renovations of several other abandoned buildings near by, a river front restaurant, and new buildings.
I can't wait to see how this area develops. It is certainly an under utilized area of Memphis that deserves some attention.