"That was Overton Square in the 1970s, conceived by a group of young and ambitious businessmen. They transformed the quiet Midtown intersection of Cooper and Madison into Memphis’ premier destination for a good time. Judging by recent Friday night crowds, one might imagine that the mojo never subsided – that the patios have always been a swirling mix of theatergoers, bachelor parties, yoga students, and foodies. But not only did Overton Square spend nearly two decades on life support, it nearly flatlined a few years ago.
The storefronts were bare. Out-of-town owners balked at the cost of renovation. Bulldozers would flatten the block. In its place would rise a strip mall and a discount grocery store. Fortunately, Overton Square was reclaimed by Memphians who wanted their good times back. It required a special group of people to build – and then rebuild – the heart of Midtown Memphis. But then, Overton Square has always benefited from bold and progressive backers – many of whom call Memphis University School their alma mater."