Neighborhood Highlight of the Week: Poplar Street

in MartinTNLiving Neighborhood Highlight of the Week,Real Estate

One of the most charming streets in our town is Poplar Street, a residential historic district off of Main Street and a quick stroll from downtown.  Although small in size with only twenty-eight homes, Poplar looms large for anyone who appreciates older homes and a residential area surrounded by schools and shopping.

Warner Pace is a Martin resident and Chairman of the Board of the Martin Historic Zoning Commission.  He has lived on Poplar Street since the late 1980’s when he bought a dilapidated, historic home on a run-down street.  I asked him his thoughts on reviving this neighborhood and living here:

Poplar Street Beauty

What do you like most about living in the downtown area of Martin and on Poplar Street?      “It’s close to area schools with the elementary and primary within walking distance.  Downtown  is only a block away, so you can walk to work and/or shop.  Plus, the neighbors are wonderful.”

What prompted you to buy an older home? “I love the charm and warmth a period  home offers.  When I first bought my house it was in ruins, with windows out, dogs living in it, etc.  The street was mostly rental property with the larger homes being divided into apartments.  There were only four family homes in 1987.  This was all before any historic zoning overlay was established.  With the families and I who were left, we worked on establishing Poplar Street and later downtown into historic districts with zoning overlays.  With this established, future residences (homes) on Poplar Street would have to be single family homes.  As of 2010, the whole street has been restored, except one property, back to their original state and are single family properties. It has been a long journey, but worth the effort.”

Springtime On Poplar St. Lovely Older Home

Since Poplar is part of the Martin Historic district, I know there are guidelines provided to help maintain the integrity of the “historic district” title.  How restrictive are these guidelines and what challenges, if any, did you run into with them while renovating your home? “The Martin Historic zoning is an overlay zoning to the city’s regular zoning laws.  It protects the property owners from new development that would not be period to the area.  The guidelines address anything that is on street view.  The theme is to restore, not remodel.  The Historic board will work with the property owner prior to the board meetings to offer suggestions and show samples of what has been approved in the past.  A Certificate of Appropriation (COA) must be submitted on each project.  The board was very helpful during the process of restoring my  home.”


You have taken a huge role in renovating buildings both downtown with your businesses, The Lindell and The Gallery, and on your home on Poplar.  You recently provided me so much support while I was working with a prospective new business owner on a building downtown.  Speaking from experience, what do you think are the most important factors someone needs to consider before buying an older home or building? “First, do you really love it?  Next, do you have the passion and the finances to see it through?”

Historic Home Marker, Winter 2010

What are the best resources for people who want more information about historic homes, etc.  I know you mentioned the link to city hall I can provide.  Any others?    “There are state and national websites and agencies that we work with who will provide expert advice.”

Warner’s home now is a shining example of a successful restoration.  His example led others to join in recreating an area offering the closeness of downtown living within a well-kept and desirable neighborhood.  Like many Martin streets, Poplar offers an eclectic blend of styles from two bedroom cottages to sprawling two story homes.  The problem is homes don’t go for sale that often on Poplar.  Perhaps, this neighborhood is just too comfortable to leave.

Feel free to contact Warner at for more information or visit the sites he suggested:;


Here are the Poplar Street stats*:

Current Listings:                 1

Asking Price:                          $118,900
Htd. Square Footage:         2430


Current Pending: 0


Closed Sales (Past Year Jan. 2009-Jan. 2010): 0

Every one of our neighborhoods has its own story.  Join in the conversation and comment on what you love about our area.  Looking for more information?  Send me a note, and I’ll be happy to provide you with a detailed report on the homes on this street or other neighborhoods in Martin and surrounding areas.  And, if you know of a neighborhood you would like to see highlighted, just let me know.

*Stats Info.from MLS Data -Reelfoot Regional Association of Realtors

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