Henry Turley was the first commercial developer to venture onto South Main Street. In the mid-1980s, an artist and friend convinced Henry to see South Main as “The Historic South Main Arts District.” Henry agreed to share in his friend’s vision. This was the very early days of loft living (SoHo had just gotten its name in New York City – artists and adventurers were moving into abandoned industrial spaces). Henry’s first South Main project was a building formerly occupied by Taylor Paper Company. With the help of several friends, including Bill Deupree, Henry Klyce and Tony Bologna, that vacant building became what now stands as the Paperworks Condominiums. Henry Turley Company wanted to ensure that the residents of Paperworks could be part of a larger community, so we bought and developed other loft properties along South Main, such as West Farrington, Candy Factory, and The Gallery.
Today, the neighborhood is a lively and vibrant area for artists, entrepreneurs, and other creative types. Condos and apartments abound in the renovated warehouses throughout. There are numerous art galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants, leading from the southern anchor of the Memphis Farmer’s Market, past the National Civil Rights Musuem, and all the way back up to the Orpheum Theatre and the downtown core. Memphis College of Art just opened their new downtown campus along South Main, adding to the area’s energetic atmosphere. And, during the last Friday of every month, art galleries throw their doors open while musical acts dot the street for “South Main Trolley Night.”