Linden Station and the Reichman-Crosby Warehouse (Beale Street Landing; Ellis Building, Bell Building, and Linden Building)

Status: Demolished after 2003; delisted Nov. 9, 2007

Location: 245, 281 and 291 Wagner Place, Memphis

Built: 1905-1907, 1922

Architectural Style: Linden Station, Early 20th Century Commercial block; Reichman-Crosby, three-story Commercial Italianate

Linden Station & the Reichman-Crosby Warehouse were placed on the National Register on Sept. 8, 1978.

History: One of these buildings was the Ellis Building at the southwest corner of Beale Street and Wagner Place, originally constructed for the Reichman-Crosby Company in 1922 as a warehouse for their machinery, mill and electrical equipment (lower photo). It contained a total of 36,000 square feet on two floor levels. The two buildings to the south of it, designed by the firm of Chighizola, Hanker and Cairns, Architects, and constructed in 1905-07 as a single large development, were the Bell Building and Linden Station (upper photo). These two together, containing over 250,000 square feet of space on four levels, were originally known as Linden Station, while the three as a group were called Beale Street Landing. The complex was important for its early use of structural steel, and the National Register nomination points out that these three buildings “as a unit are the remaining cornerstone of what was once the thriving railroad and steamboat distribution center of Memphis.” A program to create out of the old buildings a set of shops, restaurants and condominiums was launched in December 1976. Beale Street Landing Emporium opened with considerable fanfare in November 1982, but by 1984 many shops had closed or moved out due to lack of business, and in 1986 Union Planters National Bank began foreclosure proceedings. The buildings were later damaged by strong winds in July 2003 (“Hurricane Elvis”). Now, apart from some foundations, the site is a vacant lot.

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN