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Downtown Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Shelby County Archives and Hall of Records / Former Criminal Courts Building

 
 
Shelby County Archives And Hall Of Records Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 8, 2018
1. Shelby County Archives And Hall Of Records Marker
Inscription.  

Shelby County Archives and Hall of Records
After the Shelby County criminal courts and jail moved from here in 1982, this National Register Historic District building stood empty until 1998, when extensive renovations were completed and it reopened as the Shelby County Archives and Hall of Records. County Mayor James L. Rout led efforts to convert the structure, as had been proposed earlier by the Descendants of Early Settlers of Shelby County and the West Tennessee Historical Society. When the building reopened, the first official occupants were County Clerk Jayne S. Creson and County Historian Edward F. Williams, III. Local government records dating back to the 1820's are maintained here.

Former Criminal Courts Building
Designed by Jones & Furbringer, Architects, this building opened in 1925 as the Criminal Courts Building, housing two divisions of criminal court, a 300-bed county jail, and various offices. The limestone exterior features several design elements of the Renaissance, including massive scrolls at the setback for the upper floors modeled on those at
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the Church of Santa Maria Della Salute in Venice. Interior hallways and central staircase are faced with pink and dark cedar Tennessee Marble. Notorious criminals incarcerated here include "Machine Gun" Kelly, the F.B.I.'s 1933 "Public Enemy No. l" and James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Erected by Shelby County Historical Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureNotable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1982.
 
Location. 35° 8.925′ N, 90° 2.958′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. It is in Downtown Memphis. Marker is on Washington Avenue west of North B.B. King Boulevard, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 150 Washington Avenue, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Former Criminal Courts Building (here, next to this marker); Malcolm Rice Patterson (within shouting distance of this marker); Statuary at the Shelby County Courthouse (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Shelby County Courthouse (about 400 feet away); Forrest and the Memphis Slave Trade (about 500 feet away); St. Peter Catholic Church (about
Former Criminal Courts Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 8, 2018
2. Former Criminal Courts Building Marker
500 feet away); Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away); Let Freedom Ring (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
The Shelby County Archives and Hall Of Records image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 8, 2018
3. The Shelby County Archives and Hall Of Records
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 378 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 14, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Mar. 4, 2024