Status: Preserved

Address: 239 Adams Avenue, Memphis

Built: 1869-70

Architectural Style: Italianate

Original Function/Purpose: Residential

The James Lee House was placed on the National Register on Oct. 2, 1978.

History: The James Lee House (sometimes called the First James Lee House and not to be confused with the (second) Lee House of 690 Adams) was designed for James Lee, Jr. by architect Joseph Willis, who came to Memphis from Philadelphia. It is said to be one of the best examples of Italianate style in Memphis. Lee’s father James Lee, Sr. established the successful Lee Line of steamboats. His attorney son built this house about 1868 when he and his wife Rowena had four children, but when his family had increased by another six children he moved to the house at 690 Adams. That house had been enlarged by Charles W. Goyer who is said to have had ten children also. Lee left his law practice in 1877 to manage the boat line for this father, and named boats after each of his ten children. The house was purchased and restored by Roscoe A. Feild, Jr. as a law office.


City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8