Then & Now ~ The James Lee House in Memphis, TN. Originally a simple brick farmhouse built in 1848, additions by early owner C.W. Goyer in 1852 and 1873 resulted in a substantial Italianate style mansion with a Second Empire style tower. It is one of the city’s most important residences and a vibrant example of Memphis’ early prominence and opulence.
James Lee, Jr. a Princeton-educated riverboat captain bought the house in 1890 and undertook a final round of remodeling. In 1929, the house became the James Lee Memorial Art Academy which occupied the house until 1959. The house remained vacant for fifty years after the college moved out.
It was restored and opened as the James Lee House bed & breakfast in 2014. Many more photos of the house, including during the restoration process, can be seen on the inn’s website: www.jamesleehouse.com/ The Historic Memphis site has many pre-restoration photos: https://historic-memphis.com/memphis-historic/lee-house/lee-house.html.
Italianate and Second Empire are two of 25 styles and types illustrated in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Our shop also carries “A Field Guide to American Houses” by Virginia McAlester and select preservation and restoration titles by other authors. Save with our multi-book combo packs!
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