Medical Arts Building and Garage (Hickman Building)

Status: Preserved

Address: 240 (formerly 248) Madison Avenue and 11 North Fourth Street, Memphis

Built: 1925-1926

Architectural Style: Neo-Gothic

Original Function/Purpose: Commerce

The Medical Arts Building and Garage was placed on the National Register on Aug. 16, 1984.

History: The building was constructed by the Cincinnati firm of Rudolph Tietig and William H. Lee to specifically address the needs of the private medical practitioner, with shared equipment and services provided in the plan of the structure. Planning for this building was begun by a real estate development firm headed by Oran L. Sackett, president of a local insurance company, in response to the burgeoning growth of the Memphis health care profession. By mid-century the expansion of the Memphis Medical Center area resulted in few medical personnel remaining in the building and it became more of a general office building. Businessman Francis G. Hickman purchased the building in the early 1950s and undertook a general renovation. The building was closed in 1971. In 1984 its nomination to the National Register stated “its present owners are formulating plans for [its] rehabilitation.” Workable plans developed more than thirty years afterward finally led to that long-delayed rehabilitation, expected to be finished in 2019. Currently doing business as The Commonwealth, the building will have retail amenities at street level, four floors of apartments, and three floors of offices. A principal of the development project said that they “made intentional choices throughout the process that maintain the original craftsmanship and quality of the building.”

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN