Enchanted Shoe

Memphis, Tennesse, USA

Closed 1995

The Disappointed Tourist: Enchanted Shoe, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

This shoe-shaped building opened in 1965 at 2995 Lamar in Memphis as High Fashions in the Shoe, a children’s shoe store. There was a tiny door in the side, just for children. The building passed through a variety of owners: in 1967, it became The Shoe House and by the 1970s it was called The Enchanted Shoe, although most people just called it The Big Shoe. In its final years, the original blue and white exterior was painted brown and it became a clothing store, before being demolished in 1995 to make way for a strip mall. The painting is based on an uncredited black & white photograph from Memphis Magazine.

I picked it because it reminds me of a time when my dreams were simpler. I used to imagine shopping there, although we never did. As a child I decided I would take my future kids there, but the building was gone by the time I had kids. Dara S.