Here's a Great View of White Station Tower from 1970

photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

Rooting through the old Memphis Press-Scimitar files in the Special Collections Department at the University of Memphis Libraries, I came across this wonderful photo showing the White Station Tower area, as it looked in 1970.

The view is looking east; that's Poplar Avenue cutting diagonally across the top right of the photo, and Mendenhall across the bottom.

The neighborhood just behind (east) of White Station Tower is today's Brookhaven Circle, with all the homes replaced by a variety of businesses, shops, and restaurants. The land between the building and those homes has just been cleared for Clark Tower. In the foreground, the old Globe Department Store, which later became Service Merchandise, is now home to Malco's Paradiso movie theatre. And the low flat building in the center, which for years housed Montesi's grocery store, is now home to Whole Foods and Office Depot.

Look closely, and you'll see a fire station at the bottom of the photo, facing Mendenhall (the low building with the square tower). That's still standing, but all that empty space behind it is now filled by the building and parking lot for Kroger.

To some readers, 1970 may not seem all that long ago, but pictures don't lie. The Poplar/Mendenhall area has changed rather dramatically in the past 40+ years.


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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

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