After 110 Years, Thomas O. Vinton's Home Becomes a Fine Art Gallery


     The gallery was conceived in early 2014.  My wife and I bought the building at 1290 Peabody Avenue in June of 2014 and began an 8-month renovation project.  Thomas O. Vinton, prominent Memphis banker and developer at the turn of the 20th century, had built this structure for his home in 1905.  At that time, it was one of only 5 homes in the block between Cleveland and Raleigh Avenue, which is now called Bellevue Boulevard.  There were no houses toward the east for several miles.  Vinton and R. Brinkley Snowden had developed the Annesdale Park subdivision, named after Snowden’s mother Annie Overton Brinkley, and invited “all of Memphis to the great sale” in 1903.  After a luncheon for 50 prominent Memphians at the Peabody Hotel, Arnold’s Brass Band led a parade to the site, followed by 15 wagonloads of watermelons. Mayor J. J. Williams cut the first watermelon and then hundreds more were cut and served to the crowd who had gathered for the event. Forty lots were sold on the first day.  

     By the time of World War II, 1290 Peabody had been divided into 4 apartments, and two extra doors were cut through the stonework for entry into the upstairs apartments.  By the mid-1980s, the building was abandoned and boarded up.  The owner was unwilling to fund improvements to the property, but could not bring himself to tear it down, for which I am thankful.  In 2002, it was purchased by a lady who planned to renovate it and live here.  Her plans fell through and when I bought the building it was down to the bare studs. Fortunately, much of the elegant millwork had been carefully taken down and stored in the house, lying against the studs.  It now has a new roof, the exterior stonework has been repointed, including patching the holes created by the extra doors, the floors have been replaced, and the stair railings are no longer painted black

     It is painful to me whenever I see beautiful old buildings in Memphis torn down in the name of "progress".  Today, T. O. Vinton's home at 1290 Peabody is The Annesdale Park Gallery, a fine art gallery featuring original works by outstanding established and emerging regional artists, working in a variety of media and styles, ranging from traditional oil paintings to expressive abstracts, sculpture, ceramics, woodworking and more.   

     I chose the Annesdale Park name for the gallery, because I wanted it to have a distinct relationship to the neighborhood and its history.  I have eclectic tastes in just about everything, from people to food, books, music, and art.  The works of the gallery artists are beautiful, seductive, introspective, intriguing, disconcerting, humorous, or amazing and speak to a part of my soul in some way. Come to The Annesdale Park Gallery and see if something here speaks to a part of your soul.

David Hasty, Owner