University of Memphis student portfolio piece
Endangered Property of 2011:
In 2011, Memphis Heritage invited the public to submit nominations for the most endangered historic properties in Memphis. The list was compiled and published in the May 2011 Keystone magazine, as part of recognition for National Preservation Month. This list was as follows:
- The Nineteenth Century Club
- The Chisca Hotel
- Sears Crosstown
- Tennessee Brewery
- Marine Hospital
- The Goyer Lee House
- Clayborn Temple
- Cobblestone Landing
- Sterick Building
- Ashlar Hall
- Mid-South Coliseum
Efforts to Save Endangered Properties:
Getting endangered properties off the list and onto a new life has been a vast cooperation between investors, Memphis Heritage, Downtown Memphis Commission, Neighborhood Preservation Inc., Tennessee Historic Register and National Historic Register. “Concern of the citizens has been our number one asset in saving our historic buildings,” said June West, executive director of Memphis Heritage.
Endangered Property List as of 2016 – 5 years later
|Restored/Current Plans for Renovation||Still Endangered|
|1. The Nineteenth Century Club
2. The Chisca Hotel
3. Sears Crosstown
4. Tennessee Brewery
5. The Goyer Lee House
6. Clayborn Temple
7. Cobblestone Landing
|1. Marine Hospital
2. Sterick Building
3. Ashlar Hall
4. Mid-South Coliseum
Restored Property Chart:
|Property||Year Built||Abandonment||Renovation||Cost of Renovation|
|Nineteenth Century Club||1908||2011||2016: Izakay Restaurant||$3.7 mm|
|The Chisca Hotel||1913||1980s||2015: apartments/ mixed-use||$20 mm +|
|Sears Crosstown||1927||1993||2017: residential and commercial mixed use||$15 mm +|
|Tennessee Brewery||1890||1954||2017: residential and commercial mixed use||$27.5 mm|
|The Goyer Lee House/James Lee House||1848||1959||2013: luxury bed & breakfast||$2.1 mm|
|Clayborn Temple||1892||1999||2015: Stabilized, final use currently open to discussion||TBD|
|Cobblestone Landing||1850s||N/A||2016||$ 6 mm permit|
|Justine’s||Est. 1843||1996||Purchased 2016||TBD|
Outlook for Properties Still on the Endangered List:
This building is far from being a lost cause. It was purchased by a private party in 2004 and is currently be assessed for residential use as apartments or a boutique hotel. The project still needs an investor. Original use was to care for soldiers, built in 1884.
Built in the 1930s and abandoned since the 1980s, this building has been a project for Downtown Memphis Commission to make a deal between the owner and an investor. Nothing has come through yet.
An attempt to renovate this building was made in 2013 by the latest owner, Kenny Medlin, for veteran care purposes. Medlin’s first attempt was thwarted when the contractor he hired allegedly stole pieces of the property along with equipment purchased for the first revitalization project of turning it into a restaurant.
Perhaps one of the most looming abandoned structures in Memphis, the coliseum is owned by the city. Potential use or demolition is still being debated.
Call to Action:
Support and involvement with any state and local organizations working to preserve historic properties is vital to saving Memphis buildings. “That eight of the twelve listed buildings are revitalized or undergoing plans for revitalization, in five years, demonstrates awareness and activism works,” said June West, executive director of Memphis Heritage, “We hope to be an advocate within the city where anyone wanting to help can find their place. Those wishing to take part in the continued efforts to keep Memphis properties stable, useful and beautiful can donate to Memphis Heritage, subscribe to memberships, attend fundraisers, and follow them on Facebook for updates on any restoration activities.