Lots O' Light 

A Condo In the Mansfield Arms.

The Mansfield Arms was built on the corner of Mansfield Street and Central Avenue in 1924. Central Gardens and Annesdale Park were early turn-of-the-century suburbs of Memphis that grew along Pigeon Roost Road to Lamar Avenue and the streetcar line that extended out and up Central Avenue.

The original builder of Annesdale in 1855 was a wholesale druggist named Dr. Samuel Mansfield. It is obviously Dr. Mansfield (who sold his estate to the Snowden family in 1869) who is remembered both in the name of the street and this early residential building.

Although apartments weren't new in Memphis, what was novel about the Mansfield Arms was that it was built solely for the single, young professional male. These residents even had the option of taking breakfast and dinner in the dining room for an additional $35 per month. Obviously it was young men of means who could afford to live in this elegant 30-unit building that featured the first residential elevator in the city.

About a decade-and-a-half ago Ben Reisman acquired the building. The 30 apartments were gutted and reconfigured into 12 luxury condominiums. However, that original elevator, the halls, and even the light fixtures in these areas were retained, giving the public spaces quite a wonderful period feel. Inside the units, a whole different aesthetic was employed.

The 12 new units were laid out with sleek lines and large, open spaces. This unit is on the second floor and occupies the full end of a wing of the building so it enjoys views in three directions. Pretty amazing for apartment living.

It is entered on center where a large foyer with hardwood floors and a wall of bookcases greet you. The living and dining rooms, which also have hardwood, are divided only by a freestanding fireplace. Both public rooms share lots of glass and each has a petite balcony hanging out into the splendor of the surrounding oaks. What better place for an early-morning or after-work getaway?

There are two master bedrooms discreetly located at opposite sides of the apartment. Each has two walls of windows and a large walk-in closet. Each, of course, has a comfortable private bath. The ceramic here, like the colors throughout, is kept very light and neutral.

The kitchen has three walls of cabinets and lots of counter space. Unfortunately, the kitchen does not open up to the dining room. This gives the dining room a more formal feel but results in the kitchen losing out on the marvelous views, and lots o' light, available everywhere else in this airy residence.

1426 Central Ave., #201

1,500 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths; $119,000

Realtor: The Hobson Co., 761-1622, Agent: Mary Frances Pitts, 312-2942

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