Status: Preserved

Address: 659 North Manassas Street, Memphis

Built: 1924

Architectural Style: Collegiate Gothic

Original Function/Purpose: Education

L.C. Humes High School was placed on the National Register on July 12, 2004.

History: Known as the high school of Elvis Presley as well as other notables, Humes High School was the first Memphis school to include a junior and senior high combination. Located in North Memphis, the school was designed by George Awsumb of Pfeil and Awsumb in the Collegiate Gothic style and named after Lawrence Cavell Humes, a local businessman who became Chairman of the Board of Education. The school closed for several weeks early in 1937 in order to house flood victims when the Mississippi River overflowed its banks; teachers and students organized squads to assist the refugees during their stay. The school focused heavily on community development, but was known as well for its high academic reputation and vocational training. In the late 1920s and early 1930s it was ranked among leading high schools in the country in innovative improvements; in 1929 it installed the largest centralized radio system in America, and in 1931 it was the first school in the south to assess the entire student body with an audiometer for hearing problems. Courses offered included infant hygiene, telegraphy, commercial law, forensics, aviation, business, food service and cosmetology. It was changed from a senior to a junior high school in 1967.


City Council District: 7

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8