Harsson-Goyer-Lee House, Memphis

Harsson-Goyer-Lee House, Memphis

The James Lee House, also referred to as the Harsson-Goyer-Lee House, is a historic residence located on Adams Avenue in Memphis. This property holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the neighboring Woodruff-Fontaine House, and both structures are part of the Victorian Village historic district.

Built in 1848, the house boasts an impressive 8,100 square feet of space and was originally constructed by William Harsson. In 1852, Charles Wesley Goyer, who was married to Harsson's daughter Laura, acquired the property. Goyer enlisted the services of the architectural firm of Edward Culliatt Jones and Matthias H. Baldwin in 1871 to expand the house, inspired by their work on the nearby Woodruff-Fontaine House.

In 1890, James Lee, a riverboat captain with a Princeton University education, became the new owner of the house. By 1925, it had transformed into the James Lee Memorial Art Academy, a precursor to the Memphis College of Art (formerly known as the Memphis Academy of Art). The city of Memphis took ownership in 1929, and after the art school relocated in 1959, the house remained vacant for an extended period. Interestingly, it gained some pop culture recognition when Canadian indie rock group Tokyo Police Club used it as a backdrop for their 2008 music video "In a Cave."

In 2012, the vacant house found new private owners, and the following year marked the beginning of a substantial construction and renovation project. This transformation converted the house into a luxurious bed and breakfast. The city of Memphis supported the renovation effort by providing a property tax abatement to encourage the restoration.

Consequently, in April 2014, the bed and breakfast officially opened its doors for business. Today, visitors to Memphis have the opportunity to experience the charm of The James Lee House by staying as guests in this splendid historic establishment.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Memphis. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Harsson-Goyer-Lee House on Map

Sight Name: Harsson-Goyer-Lee House
Sight Location: Memphis, USA (See walking tours in Memphis)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Memphis, Tennessee

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