A new automobile museum highlighting the Edge District’s rich automotive history is on the way to 645 Marshall Avenue. The building, which was constructed in 1925, once featured a car showroom and assembly shop.
The building was once part of “Auto Row," a strip that was home to several car dealerships and maintenance shops dating back to the 1920s.
“With convenient rail access, many of the dealerships had showrooms in the front and factories in the back,” said developer Richard Vining. “645 Marshall Avenue was one of these buildings. Home to Cherokee Motors, vehicles assembled in the back of 645 Marshall Avenue were proudly displayed up front for all who walked or rode by to see.”
“Our plan [with The Edge Motor Museum] is to bring that look and feel back to the building while maintaining its original character and enhancing the neighborhood as a whole," he added.
Vining plans to feature at the museum an initial offering of vehicles on loan and valued at $1 million. The museum will be located approximately 600 feet west of Sun Studio, and Vining hopes the project will help further connect the Medical District to the Downtown core.
“The exhibits contained within the Edge Motor Museum are not only expected to attract visitors on their own, but also serve as a complementary attraction for the visitors of Sun Studio, many of whom are already interested in 1950s and '70s culture,” he said.
The museum is currently awaiting its nonprofit 501c3 federal approval, which is expected in the next month.
Alongside Montgomery Martin Contractors, C Foster Construction is handling the funds granted by the Downtown Memphis Commission for exterior improvements. These improvements will include the patch and repair of the glazed exterior tile, new storefront glass windows and doors, lighting, new roll-down door and a new parking lot. Recently, the DMC's Center City Development Corp. provided a grant of $60,000 for those exterior improvements.
Construction is underway, and the entire project is expected to take roughly four months to complete.