Nineteenth Century Club May Keep Its Spot In Memphis History

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(Memphis) June West, executive director of Memphis Heritage, is 99.9 percent sure that the Nineteenth Century Club mansion will stay part of the Union Avenue landscape.

During a half-hour hearing, Chancellor Walter Evans listened to bits and pieces needed to put the final documents together to sell the building to new buyers who will preserve it.

After it sold earlier this year at auction to the Linn family, they wanted to make it a strip mall.

Nineteenth Century Club members took most of the money made from the sale and made a donation of more than $430,000 to the Children's Museum of Memphis.

The club kept $14,000 for expenses.

That money will stay frozen until the deal with the new buyer is secured.

"The children's museum gets to keep its money, the Nineteenth Century Club gets it money back, the Linn's make a tiny profit and the building get preserved."

The battle to stop the demolition of the mansion and development of a strip mall included a lawsuit, a $50,000 bond and long hours working on a strategy with lawyers who worked for free.

The final decision that will seal the building's fate will be at an Oct. 16th hearing.

That is when the new buyer, Nashville businessman Dave Wachtel, will put up $40,000 in earnest money.

He and investors plan to renovate the building and open an upscale restaurant.

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