Address: 1 North Front Street, Memphis
Built: ca. 1876, 1903
Architectural Style: Italianate Revival
Original Function/Purpose: Governmental
History: This property has served as a U.S. Customs House, Court House and Post Office. The original facility was built in the early 1880s, and officially opened in 1885. Covering 140,000 square feet on four floors, the Italianate Revival-style building was considered one of the most beautiful in the South when it was built. In 1903, as Memphis grew and the amount of business and activity within the building increased, a west addition was built, again using marble as the exterior building material. Although its uses as a Customs House and Federal Court were eventually moved to other facilities, the U.S. Postal Service maintained its downtown office in the building until 2005. Beginning in 2007 the firms of Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects and Fleming Architects planned and oversaw an extensive interior redesign and seismic retrofit to convert the building into the University of Memphis’s new Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law campus, which opened in January 2010. There are plans for completion in 2021 of an Equality Trailblazers Memorial alongside the building, as a stop on the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail. It will feature busts, and narratives etched in glass, honoring Memphians notable for their work on behalf of women’s suffrage and women’s rights.
City Council District: 6
Super District: 8
County Commission District: 8