Scimitar Building (Hotel Napoleon)

Status: Preserved

Address: 179 Madison Avenue, Memphis

Built: 1902

Architectural Style: Beaux Arts and Romanesque Revival

Original Function/Purpose: Commerce

The Scimitar Building was placed on the National Register on June 30, 1983.

History: The Scimitar Building was built by Napoleon Hill, the so-called “Merchant Prince” of Memphis, who was at the time the richest man in the city and owner of the Evening Scimitar newspaper. He lived in a Victorian mansion across the street from the Scimitar, on the present-day site of the Sterick Building. The Scimitar property, designed by the local firm of August A. Chigazola and William J. Hanker, housed the newspaper offices for almost a quarter-century. The building was purchased in 1924 by the Memphis Power and Light Company, and was the headquarters of MLGW from 1937 until 1970. It is now in private ownership and has been transformed into upscale lodging as the boutique Hotel Napoleon. In October 2017 Jay Kumar and Snay Patel of Suna Investments, which transformed the 115-year-old building, were presented with a Downtown Vision Award by the Downtown Memphis Commission. In April 2019 the Memphis chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented a Design Award to UrbanARCH Associates for its renovation/restoration of the building.

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN