Johnny Cash statue to be installed in Cooper-young
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.
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.