top of page


restoring big mama's house

sep 2020

demolition of
big mama's house

Excitedly ready to move forward with the rebuilding process, the beginning of the renovation process took a turn. Along with high hopes and dreams of restoring Big Mama's, disappointment awaited. The home built in the early 1900s had infrastructure and construction features that would not pass the current code.  

 Emotions were high, but Andrea Fenise knew the house had to be demolished in order to make room for a more sustainable and vibrant community. Behind the layers of old rotted wood lied delicate wallpaper and family treasures she now holds on to forever. 

may 2020

purchased big mama's house

This project was inspired by Andrea Fenise’s spiritual dream, where she was led to purchase her great-grandmother’s home. Eunice Alma Harris Malone, affectionately called Big Mama by family, was a pillar in the community as the neighborhood school teacher during segregation but she also owned several properties during the Jim Crow South era. By rebuilding this home, she hopes to restore the community’s pride and create a space for learning and growth. 

Big Mama's home was purchased back from the Shelby County Land Bank after being vacant for over 10 years. The deed had only been transferred once by her grandfather to the Cox family of Hyde Park. 

april 2023

the Legacy garden 

Proudly holding deeds and seeds in her hand Andrea Fenise decided to plant a legacy garden to help raise the funds to build a new community center home on Big Mama's land. 

The plan is to cultivate Big Mama’s land as the home of one of many land beautification projects that will beautify vacant lots and service the In Search of Our Garden Apothecary. 

bottom of page