Living on the River 

Circa 1984 downtown condo.

Living on the Mississippi is as good as it gets in Memphis. Residences overlooking the water get the best breezes in the city, world-class views of passing river traffic, and glorious sunsets.

This condo unit was one of two built in 1984 atop an existing three-story building with interior parking at the foot of Union Avenue. There is nothing between it and the harbor but Riverside Drive and the cobblestone landing.

The layout of this condo is unusually adept at orienting you to the outside. The interior is wrapped by 1,800 square feet of private deck — larger than many houses. The living and dining rooms and even both bedrooms have doors that permit direct outdoor circulation.

The first owner of this unit commissioned local woodworker Stephen Crump to build custom shoji screens for the living room, which has deck on three sides. The floor-to-ceiling screens are set into oak tracks and allow sun and views to be precisely modulated.

The dining room is two steps above the living room to provide better sightlines to the west. The deck steps up to the rear, staying level with the dining area and both bedrooms. The foyer has slate floors that are carried through to the wet bar and on into the kitchen.

Even though the kitchen has no exterior walls, a huge skylight fills it with natural light.

Counters are a richly colored granite, and all the appliances, including the stacked washer and dryer, are stainless-steel. Double wall ovens, a five-burner gas cooktop on the kitchen island, and a wine fridge at the wet bar make entertaining a breeze.

But that deck — oh, that deck! Wrapping part of the south and all of the west and north sides of the unit, it's certainly unique in scale for downtown living. It offers almost as much square footage as the whole residence and more than doubles the space available for entertaining. What could offer a better scenario for living on the river? •

34 Union

Approximately 2,200 sq. ft. $649,000

Realtor: Crye-Leike,


Agent: Rick Travers,




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