New Belle On the Boulevard 

A Colonial Revival on Belvedere.

Belvedere means "beautiful view" in Italian. With its gentle S-curve and wide, landscaped median, Belvedere Boulevard is most appropriately named. The Belvedere subdivision, one of several comprising present-day Central Gardens, was approved for development in 1906. The land was part of an 800-acre farm established by Solomon Rozelle in 1830. When the subdivision was platted, the area had a few houses dating from the mid- to late 1800s. Most of the houses in the new development were built between 1900 and 1940; a few townhouses were built in the 1960s and '70s.

This is the first new house in the neighborhood in several decades and is now under construction on Belvedere between Harbert and Glenwood, on property that was for many years the garden of the circa-1912 house next door. The deep, narrow lot has been developed with a small lawn and guest parking in the front, a driveway down the house's south side, and parking for the owners at the rear, behind the garage.

The brick-clad house has a symmetrical facade with a two-story pedimented portico which provides a gracious porch at street level and a balcony for two bedrooms upstairs. The front entrance is a double-leaf door with a transom. The front windows also have transoms.

The central front hall has a view straight through the house to the rear terrace and courtyard. The living and dining rooms, each with a fireplace, flank the front hall. The den, behind the living room, has its own fireplace and a trio of French doors to the terrace. A wide archway joins the den to the breakfast room, which is almost as large as the dining room. A butler's pantry with capacious cabinets connects breakfast and dining rooms.

The kitchen and its adjunct spaces and the downstairs master suite are in a long, one-story rear ell. The kitchen, with major work areas at the sink and stove and broad expanses of countertop, would easily accommodate the needs of either an amateur cook or a professional chef. A counter with columns at its corners is both a convenient work or serving space as well as an elegant device to separate the kitchen and breakfast room. A four-foot-wide refrigerator and walk-in pantry provide plenty of food and equipment storage; and there's more storage, as well as a place for a freezer, in the laundry room. A porte cochère on the south side of the house provides a convenient, sheltered, family entrance and loading zone off the back hall.

A gallery stretches down one side of the ell, forming the long side of the courtyard. The master bedroom with a bay window and expansive bath and dressing areas is situated at the end of the gallery. A three-car garage with a bedroom/playroom and full bath upstairs forms the end wall of the courtyard, an area that could be developed as a garden or an outdoor room that is a visual and functional extension of the interior spaces.

The upstairs has four bedrooms, all with nine-foot ceilings. Each bedroom has a large walk-in closet. The two front bedrooms have access to the balcony, and the two back bedrooms open into a sitting room. One front bedroom and one back bedroom have full baths; each of the other bedrooms has a private vanity but share a tub and water closet.

The design of this house incorporates modern "bells and whistles" conveniences with many desirable amenities, such as large rooms and high ceilings, found in older houses in Central Gardens. It won't be long before this elegant Colonial Revival blends seamlessly with the other distinctive houses along one of Memphis' most notable streetscapes.

656 Belvedere Boulevard, 5,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths; $1,200,000
Realtor: Sowell and Company, Agent: Corinne Adrian, 278-4380, 278-8840

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