Barksdale Mounted Police Station

Status: Preserved

Address: 189 South Barksdale Street, Memphis

Built: 1910 and 1912, with many interior reconfigurations and renovations down the years

Architectural Style: Classical Revival

Original Function/Purpose: Police station

The Barksdale Mounted Police Station was placed on the National Register on Nov. 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Gordon Alexander.)

History:  The station was built by Mayor E.H. Crump in 1910 for a mounted police force in Memphis’s eastern suburbs, as communities such as Idlewild, Lenox and East End were at the time. But the rapid development of motorized vehicles meant that police on horseback soon became outdated for traffic control. In 1935, after a two-year closure, the reopened station featured police radio facilities, a detective service and motorcycle officers to cover the area, and cells for suburban detainees. The building was closed in 1958 and handed over to the Memphis Park Commission which in turn leased it to the Memphis Boys Club (later Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis). It opened as their “clubhouse” in 1962 and was eventually renovated to include a gymnasium where the stable used to be, shops for woodworking and other arts and crafts, science and photo labs, a game room and a library. The Park Commission signed 20-year leases with the club for use of the building in 1974 and 1994, and in 1980 allowed the FBI to use the radio tower on the property. Branches of the club began to open at other locations, and after 1979 the Barksdale building was used primarily as the club’s headquarters and office space until 2008, and as a storage facility until its sale by the City of Memphis in 2018. The current planned redevelopment will provide offices alongside seven apartment units.

City Council District: 5

Super District: 9

County Commission District: 10

DON NEWMAN