Reactions from Johannesburg, South Africa
I was distressed to see online in your June LampLighter issue that one of John Gaisford’s beautiful buildings [the Union Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church on the corner of Union and Cooper] may be demolished to make way for a chain drugstore.
John Gaisford was the brother of my grandmother, and he was a well-respected architect. He was born the son of a carpenter and builder in Warminster, Wiltshire, England on October 6, 1875. In 1896, he immigrated to Memphis where he married twice and died on August 31, 1917. He was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Memphis. He was a prolific architect and built many churches and public buildings during his short career.
I hope your conservation lobby can save this church for posterity. Best wishes.
This letter was written in response to an article titled “Drugstores take over historic corners and neighborhoods have had enough” by Robert Tom which was published in the June LampLighter.