Hal & Angela Crocker Open Their Home to VIP
Story by Christy Howard Womack, Photography by Jeff Watson.
Third generation Jacksonian Hal Crocker has vision. After the tornado cleared out much of downtown Jackson in 2008, the city wanted redevelopment of the area. Hal Crocker joined with Henry Turley to form Healthy Community LLC to combine their mutual enthusiasm for downtown revitalization. The resulting Jackson Walk development is a community made healthy through well-planned, thoughtful development, where people live, work and play.
“In 2010 we were repeatedly told that no one who could afford other choices would want to live downtown,” explained Hal. “Now a lot of people are making that choice. We wanted to do more than create a neighborhood, we wanted to create a lifestyle – to build a walkable community where you don’t have to get in your car every day. We can walk to the fitness center, the grocery store, the cleaners, restaurants, the Farmers’ Market, go to free concerts at the AMP, even walk our dogs in the dog park. It’s about adding quality of life assets. We wanted to create a place that people would want to live for a long time – to raise their families within the neighborhood.”
Hal always planned to live within the neighborhood, but with his busy schedule with Healthy Community, LLC and Crocker Construction Company, there was never time to take on the construction of his own home. Three years ago, he developed the plan for his home with master designer Brandon Hutchinson of The Design Shop. Then when he met his future wife, Angela, the three-story bachelor pad needed to undergo some modifications to the plan.
“First things first,” laughs Angela. “I had to have a bathtub! And my own closet! And we had to accommodate my two children Sarah and Yates and an extra dog so we squeezed in where we needed to, to truly make it our house together.”
Angela graduated from Lambuth so she loves being back in the LANA neighborhood. Angela received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Union University, and she now commutes to Dyersburg to work.
Angela, along with Hal, worked with decorator Kelly Cox of Interiors Inc. and builder John Ellis, who brought many of the design elements to the project including the beautiful cabinet design, to make it an elegant but welcoming and livable space. The neighborhood has a consistency of design featuring Charleston-style single family homes, and the long narrow home with the broad front porch and balconies fits in perfectly as the first home on Orleans Street.
“I wanted this lot,” says Hal, “because it has the best view of downtown and the creek.” Hal has a long history of loving downtown Jackson. His father bought the New Southern Hotel in 1966, a project that Hal lovingly brought back to reality with a massive two-year project. An antique chest from the old hotel is lovingly highlighted on the third floor of the home. That third floor is Hal’s favorite spot. The view of downtown from that balcony is breathtaking, and Hal and Angela love having coffee on the balcony in the morning or ending their day there watching the sunset.
“We also love the kitchen design,” says Angela. “Hal loves to cook, and I love to sit at the bar counter as we dissect our days.”
The concrete floors of polished black aggregate are stunning and are beautifully accented with rugs and modern furnishings that blend perfectly with the historical pieces that mean so much to the couple.
The main living room on the first floor is highlighted by a beautiful stained glass feature that is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. “Those stained glass windows were saved from the neighborhood West Jackson Baptist Church building, and the walnut frame surrounding it was made from actual walnut trees on the property itself,” explains Hal. The feature anchors the first floor, which is the main living area of the home including the den, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom features a beautiful slate tile with an open airy shower for Hal and the all-important bathtub for Angela. The second story is predominantly bedrooms for the children and the workout space and office. The third story is where Hal got to keep all his man cave furnishings with three televisions and access to the expansive balcony.
Angela and Hal married in August of 2018 and moved in November of 2018, but the house is amazingly finished. They do have many more plans for the outside of the home including landscaping, a new bridge being built to a community garden, and a playground for Angela’s son, Yates, and of course Hal’s grandchildren Edie, William and Garland, who are the children of his daughter, Abbie Allen.
“It’s a wonderful neighborhood for Yates,” says Angela. Yates has autism and therefore has special needs. “Within walking distance, we have access to the pool for him to swim, he loves to swing, he loves to ride the golf cart through the neighborhood, and Grubb’s Grocery is great for his special diet.” Her daughter Sarah, who is a junior at Madison, enjoys being able to have her friends over with easy access to all of the downtown events and activities.
Healthy Community LLC is continuing the successful development, pushing the neighborhood out further into the LANA area, making more room for families to enjoy the walkable community that is so important to Hal and Angela Crocker.