Sure, the city is primarily known for its music scene, but that’s the thing — creativity births creativity, and cities that nurture one area of the arts find the rest prospering, as well.
If you’re an artist, we want you here. So, if you’re looking for an apartment in Memphis to call home that offers easy access to inspiration, here are 10 of the best options.
10. Fielder Square
The most striking feature of Fielder Square is undoubtedly its location. It’s tucked away at the East end of Downtown and attached to Autozone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds baseball team and the Memphis 901 FC soccer team.
Depending on their floor plan, residents can literally watch games from their apartment balconies. In terms of the arts, Fielder Square’s position at the edge of Downtown means it’s a hop, skip and a jump from all that Downtown has to offer.
It’s also the closest building on this list to Midtown museums like The Pink Palace and The Brooks Museum, as well as numerous smaller art spaces in Cooper Young and Overton Square and the Crosstown Arts area.
9. The Washburn
The Washburn is named after the Union army’s General Cadwallader C. Washburn, who famously fled the nearby Gayoso Hotel during a surprise raid and ran down the street that’s today known as “General Washburn’s Escape Alley,” wearing nothing but his pajamas.
Today, that block is home to The Washburn, a historic but well-updated apartment community with unique floor plans and an excellent rooftop view. Nearby you’ll find the Blues Hall of Fame, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul and some of the city’s best public murals.
8. Annex Lofts — Memphis Downtown Lofts
Annex Lofts are home to a unique communal space that has some art of its own. It’s also right in the neighborhood of a dense collection of local art spaces, including The Robinson Gallery, the Art Village Gallery and 300 & South Gallery, which are within a few blocks of the Annex Lofts.
Of course, since Front Street is a central Downtown location, one can also access any of the other major Downtown art spaces with ease.
7. Printers Alley
Also located on Front Street, Printers Alley is a renovated historic print shop featuring one- and two-bedrooms with modern amenities. Since its development, an additional south building has been added to complement the look and feel of the main building —albeit with a more modern feel.
Don’t miss the iconic “I Am a Man” mural at 398 S. Main Street, which depicts the African-American Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. In the same spot is the National Civil Rights Museum, a required visit for those new to Memphis. Right down the road on Huling Street, you’ll find the Joysmith Gallery & Studio, one of Memphis’s many smaller and intimate galleries.
6. Metro 67
Metro 67 has set out to develop a reputation for high-end luxury and design, and it shows. The building’s apartments come in a variety of floor plans to suit any taste. But what’s most remarkable are the building’s common spaces and event rooms, including an actual historic bank vault.
Metro 67 is right on a bluff overlooking the river and is a super short walk to the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, The Fire Museum of Memphis and the Center for Southern Folklore, among many others.
5. Cabinet Shop Lofts
The Cabinet Shop Lofts are located in the South Main Arts District, on the Southern end of Downtown. These lofts began life more than 100 years ago as a warehouse, but management rehabbed the space and converted it into a modern sun-drenched three-story complex with one- and two-bedroom apartments.
It’s also close to South Front Antiques, a warehouse with more than 20,000 square feet of stained glass, vintage furniture, wrought iron and so much else.
4. 266 Lofts
The 266 Lofts are on the same street as The Cabinet Shop Lofts in the vibrant South Main Arts District. If you haven’t noticed a trend yet, it’s a good neighborhood for art lovers. And, thankfully, there’s plenty of amazing rental options to support its growing population.
Public murals, statues and galleries abound, including the Circuitous Succession, Fantom Art Gallery, Gallery 363, John Robinette Art, Sue Layman Designs and Tops Gallery. What you’ll perhaps love the most is what residents colloquially refer to simply as “Trolley Night,” a monthly street festival of art, music and food — right outside your door.
3. Chisca Apartments
The Chisca Apartments are an impressive renovated historic hotel right on South Main Street itself. You can’t do any better than this in terms of easy access to “Trolley Night” art activities.
The Chisca Apartments features studio to three-bedroom spaces and are also closer to Beale Street than most of the other buildings on this list. This means you can add the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery to your must-see list. It’s a wonderful museum exhibiting photos that chronicle the civil rights movement and black history at large.
2. Gayoso House
Gayoso House is a work of art in and of itself. It was originally built in 1842 as Memphis’s first luxury hotel, and now it offers more than 30 unique floor plans to reflect the building’s distinct character.
The Gayoso is centrally located in Downtown smack dab between the many museums and galleries in the South Main area and the art and music offerings of Beale Street. It’s also close to the museums on the north side of Downtown like the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, the Fire Museum and the Cotton Museum.
1. Pembroke Square
Pembroke Square and Gayoso House are both in the same location — Peabody Square. In other words, they’re pretty much equal in terms of how close they are to a critical mass of art-lover dream locations.
Like the Gayoso House, the Pembroke Square one-and two-bedroom apartments have their own artistic charm, including 1904 tile work, stained glass and river views.
We looked at all multifamily apartment complexes in Memphis with active listings on ApartmentGuide.com and rent.com and rated them on the number of art-related businesses within a half-mile radius. We used an exponentially decreasing scale based on distance from the apartment. For instance, an art gallery across the street would score higher than one a quarter-mile away. Our establishment counts come from commercially available business listings and may not reflect recent openings and closures.