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Beale Street Historic District

Memphis, Tennessee
County of Shelby.
Beale Street, from Main to 4th Streets
National Register Number: 66000731
Resource type: District.
Property type: Historic District: Historical. The threat level was Threatened in
2004.
Congressional District: TN-8 Certified Local Government: YES
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Current use/information: Commercial district.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 23, 1966):
This district is recognized for its importance in the development and influence of the "blues," a unique Black contribution to American music. This popular musical style was born on a Beale Street lined with saloons, gambling halls, and theaters. William Christopher Handy (1878-1958), a preeminent figure in the establishment of composed blues, wrote "Memphis Blues" here.

Deterioration, neglect of maintenance, and incompatible usage are threatening the landmark district.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
The city of Memphis should enforce maintenance of the historic buildings in the district by lease holders. The Tennessee State Historic Preservation Office has recommended an assessment of remaining cultural resources within the district.


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