Real Estate

A Guide to Architectural Styles in Memphis, TN

With Memphis, Tennessee on the mind, you may think of the home of blues and rock n’ roll, but the musical city is also home to some notable architecture. We’ve compiled our complete guide to architectural styles in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Thinking about relocating to the “Home of the Blues”? Learn how you can find a local real estate professional in Memphis to help you find your little slice of Tennessee. Also, check out some tips on how to find a realtor fast to get you under contract in no time.

Must-See Buildings

Beyond delicious barbeque and thriving nightlife, Memphis is home to some must-see buildings if you’re interested in the architecture of the city.

  • Woodruff-Fontaine House: Originally home to a carriage house and cotton business in 1845, the mansion offers gorgeous architectural design, including a hidden door full of historic documents.
  • Sterick Building: This Gothic-style building was completed in 1930 and was once known as the “Queen of Memphis”. Featuring 29 floors, the Sterick Building stands at the corner of Madison Avenue and North B.B. King Boulevard.
  • Memphis Pyramid: This unique piece of architecture in Memphis was originally known as the “Great American Pyramid”. The structure sits overlooking the Mississippi River and stands a whopping 321-feet tall.
  • Peabody Hotel: Originally built in 1869, this historic hotel boasts an iconic red neon sign and a must-see rooftop perfect for summertime parties.

Architectural History

Memphis, Tennessee has a unique history in terms of architectural design and style. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. the city deteriorated with abandoned storefronts, empty streets, and boarded-up historic buildings left to crumble. Preservationists came to Memphis in the 1980s’ and helped save some of the historic architecture you can find in the southern city today. More modern-styled buildings help fill the gaps today in the areas where history has fallen, making Memphis a place of blended old and new.

Overarching Architecture Style

The modern or contemporary design style is not what you think of when Memphis comes to mind. Memphis is rich in history and homes have an overarching style of mid-century design. This lasting mid-century legacy throughout the city can be seen in their hospital designs, and many homes throughout the area.

Many of the mid-century-style homes feature quirky details that make them unique to Memphis. Awkward corners and small nooks inside residential homes offer maximized space and a design that screams Memphis. 

Unfortunately, many of these original mid-century-style homes are in rough shape in today’s standards. Many are being torn down, but some are being renovated with love. Where the original homes have been stripped away, newer, more modern-style homes are being put in their place. This creates an interesting juxtaposition when you drive through iconic streets and neighborhoods of Memphis, Tennessee.

We hope you’ve found this information about architectural styles in Memphis, Tennessee enlightening and inspiring. Memphis is a city rich in history that has come a long way from what it once was. Historic architecture that has been saved stands tall today, while other modern designs deliver a unique downtown experience.

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