The City of Memphis Receives $45,000 For The Memphis Heritage Trail Project

Grant supports diversity on the National Register of Historic Places

The City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development received a $45,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) for the Memphis Heritage Trail (MHT) initiative. The grant is one of 13 grants from the NPS that will help increase the number of historic listings associated with communities that are underrepresented on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The National Park Service is working with states, tribes and local governments to help more people connect with their history and explore America’s diverse stories,” NPS Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds said. “These grants will fund projects that recognize and preserve places that will educate and inspire future generations of Americans.”

MHT leaders plan to use the funds to create an in-depth analysis and survey that can ultimately lead to recognition on historic registers and a designation as a historic district. The study will help locate, identify and evaluate the sites, buildings, structures, material culture and individuals that are associated with the historical and socio-cultural development in Memphis.

“As we plan for MLK50, this grant provided an excellent opportunity for us to recognize the historic African-American locations in Memphis,” said Felicia Harris, manager of Planning and Development for the City of Memphis. “I am so thankful the opportunity to evaluate the historic resources in our city for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.”

The MHT is a historic 20-block redevelopment area in downtown and south Memphis. The project has been in the works since 2008 and includes the area bordered by Beale Street on the north, Main Street on the west, Crump Boulevard on the south and Walnut Street on the east. Some locations within the area are: Clayborn Temple, Mason

Temple, First Baptist Beale, Withers Gallery, the Universal Life Building and the

National Civil Rights Museum. It is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers, a customized app along with technological features and art installations.

About MHT

Memphis Heritage Trail is an expansive community redevelopment plan to celebrate the rich business, culture and musical heritage of African-American achievements in Memphis. The project brings historical tourism, urban redevelopment and city-wide pride to important public spaces. More information is available at http://memphisheritagetrail.com/.

About National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.