Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries
In the 1950s, developers laid out a “community of the future,” to be called Country Club Estates. Based on a similar development in Radford, New Jersey, the new development would feature futuristic home designs, tunnels beneath major streets, a centrally located park and school, and even a modernistic shopping center.
What a shame that none of that actually happened. Oh sure, a school went up — the curiously named Sea Isle School — with a design that looked like every other red-brick school constructed in Memphis at the time. The streets were laid out (without tunnels) and lined with very traditional looking houses. And the shopping center was indeed constructed, but it doesn’t look like what was planned.
The rendering shows rather generic establishments, with one unusual exception. A Kraus Cleaners has been included at the left. Everything else is just identified as Food Store, or Department Store, or Furniture.
In reality, the shopping center attracted a Baker’s Big Star, a TG&Y store, and off to one side, in a separate building, National Lanes bowling alley. Close to street, in another separate building, was a Loeb’s barbecue. Later expansions included Hancock Fabrics and other buildings, but nothing today really resembles the fancy shopping center shown here.
And I don’t think anyone calls it Quince Station, either.