Randolph House

Status: Demolished; delisting date is unclear, possibly 1976.

Address: 546 Beale Street, Memphis

Built: ca. 1875-77

Architectural Style: Towered Italianate

The Randolph House was placed on the National Register on Feb. 1, 1971.

History: This house opposite Hunt-Phelan House, another National Register property, was built for Judge William Mortimer Randolph in ca. 1875-77; his son Wassall Randolph was born here. Wassall Randolph, also an attorney, served as president of the city’s library board for 35 years and as a member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees for 43 years. William’s sons and trustees Wassell and George sold the house to the Community Welfare League in 1937 and city directories show that until at least the mid-1940s it housed a “Colored Community Center” and later a “Colored Community Welfare League.” One-time City Council member Gwen Awsumb, as Chairman of the Bicentennial Commission in Memphis in 1976, took great interest in preserving historic buildings including this one, and later recalled that after finding other new quarters the League decided “to tear it down . . . or sell the land . . . but had an inflated idea of what it cost.” Richard Raichelson has written that “general neglect, a fire, excessive vandalism, and an inability to secure restoration funds led to its demolition in 1976.” The site on the northwest corner of Beale and Lauderdale is now a vacant lot.

 

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN