Monday, August 20

Day 232 — Anderton's East

anderton's east

Anderton's used to be a Memphis institution, from what I've been told, but it closed down a year or two ago. I never got to eat there, sadly.

A man stopped me as I was taking photos today and wanted to be sure I took notice of the sign that proclaimed this particular location Anderton's East. He explained that it was built as the eastern counterpart to the downtown Anderton's. He described a typical day at Anderton's downtown in the '40s — blue-collar workers in hats sitting around a hot dining room eating fish — and said it was such a big deal when they opened the Madison location.

I love this building. It's this weird seafoam green color (reminds me of the hallways of Saltillo Elementary), and it's got all these neat art-deco flourishes plus some thin mid-century brickwork (I don't know what it's called — it's the thin slabs of rock ... shale?) that reminds me of ... some other building from my childhood that has slipped my mind. I dread the day they tear this place down.

It's hard for me to imagine my neighborhood as the outskirts or suburbs of Memphis, but it was. Now that it's Midtown, we tend to think of it as smack in the middle of everything, which it really is, which I love. But to think that it was the equivalent of East Memphis several decades ago is really odd.

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Anonymous Lesley said...

It was one of my parents' favorite places, where they celebrated birthdays and anniversaries (without me--I never ate there). My mom went there to eat on the last day it was open and took a bunch of (35mm) pictures.

It's a great building.

Mon Aug 20, 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous john h said...

when i was working a LOT in Memphis in the late 90s I always intended to eat at just seemed like one of those old Memphis institutions, kinda corny, but with more-than-decent food. The signage always impressed me.

sorry I lost and missed my chance..thanks for the pic!

Mon Aug 20, 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

It was a Memphis staple. But it was overrated the last 5-10 years of its existence. I lived within 5 miles of it for over 3 years and never went. There were better fish places. The main drawn was the tradition.

Tue Aug 21, 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger mike said...

I was at the library yesterday, looking at a land survey map of Memphis from 1899 and even then the city extended to several blocks east of Belvedere. That little traffic island at Belvedere and Madison has been there for over one hundred years now!

Heck, as late as the mid-Seventies, Highland and Poplar where the Bookstar is today, was considered the farthest eastern edge of the city and it was farmland all around.

Tue Aug 21, 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger La C. said...

I just got done working on a neighborhood history project with a group of kids in the Peabody Vance neighborhood. We spent a lot if time surveying and the like. Bumped in to a lot of old folks in the neighborhood and heard a lot of really cool stories about buildings that I see ever day but never give a second thought to. It's made me appreciate the history this city has, a lot more. The trolley line was phenomenal.

Tue Aug 21, 04:51:00 PM  

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