Johnny Cash statue to be in­stalled in Cooper-young

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - Desiree Sten­nett Memphis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

With con­struc­tion set to wrap up next week, de­vel­op­ers for a new Mid­town apart­ment build­ing have plans to erect a life-sized statue of Johnny Cash just out­side the front doors.

The build­ing at 999 S. Cooper St. is sand­wiched be­tween Stone Soup Cafe & Mar­ket and Gal­loway House, for­merly the Gal­loway Methodist Church. The build­ing filled an empty lot. It was ap­proved for an 11-year pay­ment in lieu of taxes (PI­LOT) in­cen­tive by the Cen­ter City De­vel­op­ment Corp., sav­ing de­vel­op­ers Chad Fis­cher and Kay­lan Threatt about 75 per­cent of their prop­erty tax obli­ga­tion.

The build­ing has 25 550-square-foot stu­dio apart­ments. The apart­ments on the ground floor are de­signed to be used as res­i­dences or com­mer­cial space.

It was at the Gal­loway Methodist Church where Cash per­formed with Mar­shall Grant and Luther Perkins of the Ten­nessee Two for the first time.

“Johnny Cash and the Ten­nessee Two would go on to take the world by storm, but it all be­gan there in the Cooper-young com­mu­nity in Memphis,” ac­cord­ing to a Legacy Memphis sign near the build­ing.

Gal­loway House now op­er­ates as a wed­ding venue and event space.

The De­sign Re­view Board un­der the Down­town Memphis Com­mis­sion ap­proved the 6-foot statue, which will be in­stalled early march, adding an ex­tra year onto the PI­LOT in­cen­tive.

The statue, de­signed by lo­cal artist Mike Mccarthy, will be on an 18- by 6foot part of the side­walk flanked on ei­ther side by brick pavers pur­chased by spon­sors.

“You’ll have lights ac­tu­ally shin­ing on Johnny, if I can call him by name,” said Ellery Am­mons with the DMC. “He’ll be fac­ing the in­ter­sec­tion of Cooper and Young so you’ll lights shin­ing on him to cre­ate this cool ef­fect — to cre­ate a ‘Ring of Fire,’ if you will.”

The statue will add artis­tic in­ter­est to the area while also bright­en­ing the street at night.

Vis­i­tors who want to take self­ies with Cash will be able to po­si­tion them­selves to get the for­mer church in the back­ground of their photo.

The de­vel­op­ers were also ap­proved for an ad­di­tional year on their PI­LOT for meet­ing light­ing re­quire­ments.

Desiree Sten­nett can be reached at desiree.sten­[email protected]­mer­cialap­peal.com, 901-529-2738 or on Twit­ter: @de­si_sten­nett.

FO­CAL POINT IN­VEST­MENTS

SPE­CIAL COL­LEC­TIONS / UNI­VER­SITY OF MEMPHIS LI­BRARIES Johnny Cash statue to be erected out­side 999 South Cooper. Cash's first per­for­mance with the Ten­nessee Two hap­pened at the church next door in 1954.

Johnny Cash, with his wife June Carter Cash, on the mid­way at the Mid-south Fair in 1968.

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