Downtown timeline, 1968- PRESENT. By Devin Greaney. 

1968, April 4 - Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated at the Loraine Motel

1968, April 12 - TIME MAGAZINE refers to Memphis as a "Decaying river town" and "Southern Backwater"

1968, April 16- Sanitation strike ends

1968, June 26- Union Station at 3rd and GE Paterson,  opened to the public for the last time to auction off memorabilia. The last passenger train left February 28. Demolition began later that year.

1968- Construction begins on South Central Bell at 201 Court

1968- William Len Hotel at 110 Monroe sold and later becomes the Viking Hotel.

1968- Claridge Hotel closes. It will become apartments fifteen years later then condos.

1968, November - voters in the downtown precincts 1 ( St Mary's School),2 ( Courthouse) , 4 ( Downtown Library) and 6 ( Fire Station #2)  cast votes for President. Humphrey (D) 261.  Wallace (I) 173. Nixon (R) 94

1968, December 12- Warner Theater closes at current site of One Commerce Square. Last movie “Coogan’s Bluff” staring Clint Eastwood

1969- Construction of MLGW building.

1969- Shelby County building completed.

1969- The Downtowner Hotel at 2nd and Union completed

1969- Lowenstein's Tower completed at 99 N. Main (now the Renisance apartments)

1969- Construction of Albert Pick Motel at 300 N Second ( Later the Sheraton and now Crowne Plaza)

1969- Construction of Blue Cross Blue Shield Building

1969, June - $13.9 million HUD urban renewal grant received for Beale Street. From then until about 1972, some 474 buildings were razed in the area.

1969, June 29 - 11 men escape from the Shelby County Jail using smuggled guns and torches

1969 June 8- WC Handy Blues festival held to commemorate Memphis’ 150th birthday

1969, July - Brinkley Park at Second and Market stops organized play due to too few children using the playground. A newspaper article said a sign up sheet for an upcoming bike rodeo posted there had no signatures. 

1969, July 9- Frances Mallory, the last resident of Mallory-Neely house, dies at age ninety eight at her Victorian Village home.The home is willed as an exhibit first managed by the Daughters of the American Revolution then the City of Memphis

1969, July 10- Groundbreaking for One Commerce Square

1969, July (late) - After some 125 prostitution related robberies since the beginning of the year, police saturate the Beale St and Hernando Street area with about 31 officers and a police helicopter

1969, August 29 - Glenda Harden, a typist for Jackson Life Insurance, leaves her office in the Falls Building for her car parked on the cobblestones. She was found dead the next day in Riverside Park. George Howard Putt would be arrested September 11 in Midtown and convicted for her murder and of four other Memphians after a month-long killing spree that kept the city on edge

1969, September 6 - Ralph Mitchum, proprietor of The Adult Center at 10 S. Second, sentenced to one day in jail and fined $5,000 for selling obscene material. 

1969, November- Article in the MEMPHIS PRESS SCIMITAR says Memphis’ bus system is one of the few self-sufficient bus systems in the country.

1969, November 25 - Liquor by the drink approved by Tennessee voters. 

1969, December - Hotel Pontotoc sold and is closed

1970- WDIA radio personality Nat Williams, interviewed in the TRI STATE DEFENDER, calls Beale Street “dead as a dodo.”

1970- Federal Reserve building constructed

1970, January- Eviction notices served to several businesses on Beale for urban renewal project.

1970, February 25 - Pilot House Hotel at 100 N Front opens (now Comfort Inn).

1970, April 1st- Census of downtown tracts (1, 22,41, 42, 43 and 44) shows 8,913 residents

1970, July- construction begins on the Clark Tower at 5100 Poplar, the tallest skyscraper outside of downtown

1970, August 31 - Official last day of operations for the Mud Island Airport. It would move to North Second the following May

1970, Fall- YWCA building razed

1970, October-November- 600 parking meters smashed by vandals in six weeks

1970, November 10 - Ceremony at the central police building marks the first time female police officers were issued service revolvers. They were to be kept in their purses. "Later if you decide you want to wear them on your belt maybe we can work something out," Chief Henry Lux said to them.

1970, November 22 - First Sunday without blue laws mandating  that most business must be closed on Sunday.

1970, November 28 - Last film (WUSA) shown at Lowe's State Theater located at 152 S. Main.

1970, December 6- THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL prints drawings of the proposed river front expressway that would have connected I 55 with i 40, replacing Riverside Drive. It did not happen.

1971- Japanese Gardens taken down from the roof of the 100 North Main Building

1971, January 3- Statue dedicated at Martyr’s Park to honor those who died helping yellow fever victims

1971, February- Britling Cafeteria on Union closes after some fifty years

1971, April 1 - Tenants vacate the Hickman Building at 248 Madison.

1971, May- Amtrak takes over passenger rail service in Memphis and changes the name of  “The City of New Orleans” to the “Panama Limited.” The name would change back in February, 1981.

1971, May 14 - First Landing at the Dewitt Spain Downtown Airport. The dedication was held May 30 and the name was later changed to simply Dewitt Spain Airport a few years later. 

1971, July 9- Clark Tower in East Memphis has its “topping out” ceremony

1971, August 23 - McCall building at 161 South Front imploded. Current site of Waterford Plaza.

1971, August - Raleigh Springs Mall opens taking shoppers from downtown. Southbrook Mall opened in August, 1966.

1971, October - Tony's Fruit Stand departs from the Northeast corner of Beale and Main, a location it had occupied for 66 years.

1971, October 5 - Harrahan Bridge Theme Park Committee suggests building a theme park at the Harrahan Bridge complete with horse racing, riverboat gambling and having it patrolled by police in 1912 uniforms and wearing handlebar mustaches. It was also suggested it could be linked to Overton Square with a monorail.

1972, January 1 - Wyeth Chandler sworn in as mayor

1972, January 22 - Holdup at The Malco Theater ( now Orpheum ) leaves cashier Mary Pearcy dead

1972, February- C and I Bank opens at 200 Madison. They celebrated their indoor arboretum by giving away free crepe myrtle trees

1972, February- Production of  the musical “Hair” at the Malco (now Orpheum) draws protests due to a nude scene. “Remember when your kids are doing it in the streets (sex), you supported it,” said protester Rev. Michael Pearl.

1972, February 3 - I-40 opened from I-240 to Second

1972, March 19 - First March of Dimes Walk-a-thon held (now March for Babies) it went from the Fairgrounds to Downtown and covered 20 miles.

1972, May- Photo in the MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR shows most area around Beale Street cleared for urban renewal

1972, June - A home at 196 Court is slated to be razed for a parking lot. It was the last of a once prosperous residential area. The home was built in 1847. 

1972, June 7 - Venson Building, apartments for the Memphis Area Housing Authority, dedicated at Danny Thomas and Beale.

1972, June 15- Architect Gene Strong refers to Court Square as a "cesspool." Told the newspapers he supports ridding the park of pigeons and squirrels

1972, June 22 - Fire at Gerber's Department store at 25 N Main does $1.2 million in damage

1972, July - Antebellum home at Georgia and South 5th razed. It was the former Brinkley Female College, but perhaps best known as the place where the ghost of Lizzie Davidson appeared in a pink moldy dress in 1871.

1972, June 30 - Hotel King Cotton closes. Current site of the Morgan Keegan building

1972, October 6 - Post Office at 555 S. Third opens at the former site of The Union Station

1972, November - Voters in the downtown precincts 1 (Hurt Village auditorium)  and 2 ( Shelby County Courthouse) cast votes for President. McGovern (D) 1,045 Nixon (R) 544 Schulz (I) 19

1972, December - Department of the Interior declares Victorian Village a National Historic District

1972, December 15 - Prince Hall Masonic Lodge opens at 154 East Calhoun ( now G E Patterson )

1973- Viking Hotel at 110 Monroe closes

1973, February 15 - Fire station #1 closes and moves to near St. Jude Hospital. The building will become the fire museum 25 years later.

1973, April- Grand opening of One Commerce Center (now SunTrust)

1973, April- Hotel Chisca vacated to become world headquarters for Church of God in Christ

1973, April 18 - Last advertisement in the newspaper for Lawrence Furniture at 56 S Main which opened there in 1933. The sign was still up over thirty five years.

1973, May 8- Mississippi River reaches 40.5 feet -- highest level since the 1937 flood.

1973, July- Article says 13 buildings on Beale St. are to be condemned. The city said they had not been maintained for fifteen years. 320-324 Beale, city inspectors said, had the roof cave into an auditorium that was full of water.

1973, August 17- Hernando DeSoto Bridge opens

1973, October 26- Memphis Planning Action Committee suggests Mud Island be used for a river museum

1973, Nov 20- President Nixon greets about 7,000 supporters -and protesters- at the Rivermont Hotel (now Rivermark condos).

1974- Timpani at 35-49 Union remodeled for condos, possibly the first of a trend.

1974- Park built on the North end of Mud Island. It was 1975 before a paved road was built to reach it.

1974, January- Sheraton sells Peabody to James “Jimmy” Lane

1974, January 6 - First event at the Cook Convention Center, a convention of the Cotton States Fashion Exhibitors.

1974, February- Goodwill Building at 94 N 2nd razed

1974, March 10- First rock concert at the Cook Convention Center when Yes played. Concert goers complained about the acoustics.

1974, April 9 - Article and photos show the 83-year-old Clayborn Temple in serious disrepair  . It was an epicenter for the civil rights marches six years earlier

1974, May - First use of the name "Memphis in May International Festival." The month-long celebration included The Danny Thomas Memphis Golf Classic, a performance by the New York Metropolitan Opera, The Cotton Carnival, Saint Jude Shower of Stars and the Memphis Music Awards.

1974, May 3- Ron Pekar finishes outdoor “supergraphic” mural on mid America Mall

1974, May 11- Grand opening of the Cook Convention Center.

1974, August- Gerber’s department store at 21-31 North Main announces it will close downtown store by October 15

1974, October- First downtown Oktoberfest

1975 (early) Construction starts on Mid America Mall

1975- Tristate Bank building built at Beale and Main

1975- Last Cole’s City Directory that has a pawnshop listed on Beale Street

1975-  Memphis Heritage Inc founded

1975, Jan 13-25 - about 2,000 MLG&W employees strike 

1975, March 3- WREG Channel 3 moves from the Peabody to 803 Channel 3 Drive

1975, April - largest burglary in Memphis' history when almost all the fixtures are removed from the Hotel King Cotton

1975, April 3- Peabody Hotel closes. It will reopen August, 1981 after lots of improvements

1975, June 1- 475 gallons of ice cream brought to Tom Lee Park to create the world's largest ice cream sundae.

1975, June 20- Muhammad Ali Theater, first black owned movie theater to open in Tennessee in 30 years, opens on Beale

1975, July- The Toma Drummond report suggests a pyramid arena to be built downtown. The drawing of the plan looked a lot like the Great America Pyramid opened in 1991, but the proposed design was for a location at what is now the Southbluffs neighborhood.  

1975, August 1 - Peabody purchased by Jack Belz

1975, August 28 - Ceremony at Main and McCall (now Peabody Place Ave) of the first bricks laid in Mid America Mall

1975, Labor Day- First WLOK Stone Soul Picnic

1975, October - Fred P. Gattas department store announced it will close its store at 387 S. Main

1975, November - Fire station 8 opens on Mississippi Blvd closing the old station 8 on Mississippi and Crump and Station 3 at Linden and S. 3rd.

1975, November 21 - St Jude dedicates its 7-story tower.

1976 - Second Street bridge crossing the Wolf River replaced. It was washed away by a flood in 1935

1976, January 1 - Position of Shelby County Commissioner abolished when Roy Nixon sworn in as first Shelby County Mayor 

1976, February 27 - Theatrical production of the play "Hot l Baltimore" held for three weeks in the abandoned Hotel King Cotton

1976, April - Sister Elizabeth Bonia becomes first director of development of the Co De North neighborhood which was bounded by Bethel, Looney, Woodlawn and North Seventh

1976, April 17-22- The Freedom Train stops in Memphis near the present site of the Mud Island parking lot. It contained exhibits on American history for the US Bicentennial.

1976, April 30 - Memphis receives national attention when a jury finds 12 people and 4 companies guilty for distribution of the film "Deep Throat" in federal court in Memphis.

1976, May 14- Mid America Mall (now Main Street Mall) dedicated by President Gerald Ford

1976, July - First Memphis Music Heritage Festival. It would continue to 1983. In 1992 the Center for Southern Folklore would change the name of the Mid South Music Heritage Festival to the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival - no connection with the 1976-1983 incarnation. 

1976, July- Plans for a Beale Street Mall like the one on Main Street placed in limbo.. Apparently not revisited.

1976, September 26 - Front Street Deli opens at Union and Front

1976, October 23 - Plan for retail and residential development on the south side of Beale at Wagner to be called Beale Street landing

1976, November 2- Movies stop running at The Malco (now The Orpheum). Last movies were “House of 1000 Pleasures” and “The 4 of Us.”

1976, November 2 - Voters in downtown precincts 1 ( Hurt Village Auditorium) and 7 ( Shelby State Community College) vote for president. Carter (D) 1,544 Ford (R) 451

1976-November- Joni Mitchell releases “Fury Sings the Blues” referencing her visit with Fury Lewis on Mosby Avenue and the deteriorating condition of Beale Street. Lewis’ reaction to the song, “She shouldn't have used my name in no way, form or faction with out consultin’ me ’bout it first,” he said to ROLLING STONE.

1976, December- the Yule Parade returns to Memphis after a seven year hiatus

1976, December 16- Memphis Development Foundation christens riverfront program at Beale and Wagner

1977- Erika Seipel opens Erika’s German Restaurant at 52 S. 2nd

1977- Henry Turley Company formed

1977- Memphis Development Foundation buys Orpheum for a performing arts venue

1977, January 1 - First National Bank changes its name to First Tennessee

1977, Jan 3- Shelby State (now Southwest Tennessee Community College) dedicates the new Downtown campus

1977, February 2- Center City Commission formed

1977, February 11 - The Malco (now the Orpheum) opens as a performing arts venue 

1977, March- Repairs begin on the brick pavement of Mid America Mall.

1977, March 17- First annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade started from Zinnie’s near Court Square

1977, April 4- “I Have Been to the Mountaintop," a sculpture honoring Martin Luther King is dedicated on Main near Poplar.

1977, April - Plans to convert The Daisy Theater into a wax museum put on hold

1977, May - Mednikow Jewelers closes its Downtown store at 5 South Main. Later that year it would combine its 416 South Perkins Extended store into a larger location at 474 Perkins Extended

1977, May- 1st Memphis in May festival. Honored country- Japan

1977, May 28- Lowe's Palace Theater closes. Downtown will be without a movie theater for 24 years.

1977, June 4- First Sunset Symphony

1977, June 21- Groundbreaking on Criminal Justice Center, 201 Poplar.

1977, August - The Pier, The first full service bar on the Mississippi, opens on Wagner

1977, August 20- Blues Alley at 23 South November 6th St burns. It will later reopen on Front St.

1977, September- City grants historic status to Cotton Row

1977, September- Dredging operations begin to raise Mud Island for what was to be called Volunteer Park

1977, December 15 - Act of Congress has Beale Street officially named "Home of the Blues."

1977, December 17- Fire destroys part of Beale Street Landing at the NW corner of Wagner and Pontotoc. 

1978 - The familiar chalk boards at the Cotton Exchange replaced with computer readout

1978, February - Broadnax Jewelers announces it will be closing its Downtown store. Broadnax had been there for 80 years

1978, April 21 - Tristate Hotel at 366 S Main destroyed by 2 alarm fire

1978, May- Bessie Louise Cathey becomes the winner of the first Memphis in May barbecue contest. It was held at the parking lot north of the Orpheum and later moved to Tom Lee Park.

1978, July and August - Police and Fire strikes bring National Guard to Memphis for security

1978, July 13 - The Downtown Dream Machine begins entertaining Memphians with the play "A Mid Summer Night's Dream" at Confederate Park

1978, August 10 - Number One Beale, first restaurant on Beale in several years, opens at Beale and Wagner.

1978, October 9-23 _ Memphis City School teachers strike 

1978, December 8-10 - Democratic Midterm Convention brings President Carter and Iranian protesters opposing the US harboring the exiled Shah of Iran.

1979, early- Name of Volunteer Park changed to Mud Island

1979, January 8 - Sun Studios opens for tours

1979, February- National Ornamental Metal Museum opens using some of the buildings of the old Marine Hospital which closed fourteen years earlier.

1979, March- buses begin a continuous loop from the Medical Center to Downtown for a 10 cent fare. Keeping with the times, the service was called “The Hustle Bus”

1979, March Clayborn Temple boarded up in preparation for remodeling.

1979, April 1 - Three alarm fire at 292 1/2 Madison 

1979, May- Avron Folgleman announced building of Jefferson Place at 560 Jefferson. They were the first downtown luxury apartments built since 1968, for opening in 1980.

1979, May - County Commissioner Steve Cohen complains about the lack of upkeep to the Vietnam War Memorial Park located at the Northwest corner of Beale and Lauderdale. The park is no longer there. 

1979, May 26 - First Great wine Race where servers from local restaurants raced with trays of wine 

1979, June 10- MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR article states “Urban renewal destroyed Beale Street.”

1979, November 28- First Jobs Conference held at the Cook Convention Center.

1979, December- Harry’s Discount Department Store on Beale closes after 53 years in business

1979, December - The former Madison Hotel and Loeb Laundry buildings in the 200 block of Madison Ave knocked down

1980- Kress at 9 North Main becomes McCrory’s

1980- Memphis Carriage Tours begins horse and carriage tours of downtown

1980- Rhodes Jennings furniture closes store at 64-68 North Main. It is now part of Court Square Center

1980- Captain Bilbo's Seafood Restaurant opens at 263 Wagner 

1980, February 4- A silver nail is hammered into the old Pantaze Drug store (present location of Wet Willie’s) beginning the remodeling of Beale Street

1980, March- Remodeling begins on the Peabody Hotel

1980, April 1- Census of Downtown tracts (1,22, 41, 42, 43 and 44) shows 5, 979 residents.

1980, June 27 - Terry and Leigh Davis purchase the former Hotel Pontotoc at 69 Pontotoc Avenue and turn it into a home and recording studio

1980, July- John Malmo Advertising Agency moves to 47 Union.

1980, July 1- Terry and Leigh Davis purchase the old Pontotoc Hotel to turn into a home and a recording studio

1980, July 13- Memphis hits 108 degree, the hottest day on record. 83 Memphians would die that month due to the heat

1980, July 21 - Puralator Armored Car office at 342 Washington robbed of more than $418,000. It was the largest holdup in the city's history but surpassed by a $6.5 million holdup in November, 1983.

1980, August - The film "This is Elvis" begins shooting in Downtown combining archival footage and dramatic recreations. It was released April 4, 1981.

1980, August 14- Statue of Elvis Presley, sculpted by Eric Parks, unveiled at Elvis Presley Plaza. The current statue is not the original.

1980, August 28 - Fire damages the offices of Burch, Porter and Johnson, a unique Moorish-style building next to Court Square. It was remodeled. 

1980, September 10 - Memphis Press-Scimitar reports First Tennessee Bank issues the first debit card in the city

1980, November - Voters in the downtown precincts 1 (Fire Station 1) and 7 (Shelby State Community College) vote for President. Carter (D) 1,536 Reagan (R)  222 Anderson (I) 38

1980, November 16- First annual Memphis Blues Awards, now the WC Handy Blues Awards, held at the Orpheum.

1981, January 16 - Transportation Secretary Neil Goldschmidt  officially scraps plans to have I- 40 go through Overton Park.

1981, February 28- Prayer service held at city hall asking God to intervene to keep the bus system from closing down.

1981, May 12 - Memphis Police lieutenant Clarence Cox found shot to death on Lauderdale, halfway between Exchange and Alabama. An escaped prisoner was later convicted.for his murder and that of a Jackson, Tennessee priest 

1981, June 29- Sneak a Peak Tour gave Memphians a look at Mud Island park under construction. The highlight of the day was a race between The Delta Queen and The Mississippi Queen  

1981, July 4- First “Star Spangled Celebration” fireworks show at Tom Lee Park

1981, July 22 - MLG&W workers begin returning back to work around 11 pm after a week-long strike

1981, July 31-  Peabody Hotel has its soft reopening. The rooms,  Dux Restaraunt and the downstairs bar open.

1981, August and October- Hickory Ridge Mall and Mall of Memphis open out east

1981, August- offices begin moving into Criminal Justice Center

1981, September 1 - Grand reopening of the Peabody Hotel and the return of the march of the ducks.

1981, Sept 5- New city jail opens at the Criminal Justice Center

1981, Fall - Construction starts on Riverbluff Coop

1981, October 6 - Downtown Residence and Merchant Association holds their first meeting at Blues Alley

1981, Oct 23- First escape from the new city jail at the Criminal Justice Center

1981, October 27 - Archaeological dig begins at the Magevney  House, the oldest residence in the city

1981, October 30 - After a deaf-mute woman was raped on the Mid America (now Main Street) Mall, MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR reporter Shelia Peace writes a front page editorial condemning the daily harassment of women walking up the mall. 

1981, December 10- Ad in newspaper for the complete liquidation of Lowenstein's merchandise, including the downtown store. The sign at 99 N Main was removed May 15, 1982.

1982- 81 Monroe remodeled

1982- Cole’s Directory lists two businesses remaining in The Exchange Building

1982, January 13 - 4 alarm fire damages the Dermon Building at 46 North 3rd.

1982, February - Marmalade's Restaurant and live music venue opens near 2nd and G E Patterson. The area was largely abandoned

1982, February 4-5 - Gunman holds three hostages for thirty four hours at St. Jude Hospital before being killed by police. His son had died at the hospital of leukemia and he was demanding the local media publish and broadcast his theories on what caused his son's cancer. 

1982 February 5 - The Robert and Annie McGowan buy the building at 418 S. Main as a residence, beginning what the South Main Association calls "the South Main renaissance."

1982, February 6 - Barry Tower, a Housing and Urban Development residence, opens at 255 North Lauderdale

1982, April - Fire Damages the Madison Hotel (not the current one- a smaller hotel located at the north end of AutoZone Park) and Tristate Hotel at 400 S. Main. Arson was suspected in both fires. In other fire news that month, fire destroyed a home built in 1904 at 301 S Lauderdale. Newspapers pointed out it was the 12th fire of a historic structure in the area since 1979. 

1982, April 3 - Ambassador Hotel at Main and Vance closes. It opened in 1926. From December of 1988 to March of 1989 it reopened.

1982, May- Nov. - Sterick Building gets its brown and gold paint job

1982, May 22 - First Outdoors Inc canoe and kayak race held at Mud Island. It is currently the largest canoe and kayak event in the area.

1982, June 7- Graceland opens for tours, bringing people from all over the world to the city

1982, July 3 - Mud Island park and museum opens

1982, July 8- Construction starts on 200 Wagner Place (now Waterford Plaza) , one of the largest residential developments downtown in years.

July, 1982 - City Councilman Michael Hooks complains the Confederate battle flag flying at Mud Island is offensive. The flag is replaced by the "stars and bars" the official flag of the Confederacy.

1982, August 14 & 15 - Midsouth Folklife Festival held at Mud Island. It was the first festival produced by the Center for Southern Folklore.

1982, October- First resident of Riverbluff coop moves in

1982, October 1 - After the resignation of Mayor Wyeth Chandler to become a judge, Councilman J. O. Paterson becomes Memphis' first black mayor.

1982, October 21 - Wallace Madewell sworn in as interim mayor

1982, November - Gene Carlisle opens The Emporium, a 54,000-square-foot mall at Beale and Wagner. It will close December, 1984

1982, December 21 - Richard Hackett sworn in as mayor

1982, December 25- Orpheum closed for $5 million renovation

1982, December - MEMPHIS MAGAZINE moves into its offices on Tennessee Street

1983- Jefferson Davis Park remodeled, starting a series of improvements to the public promenade

1983- The former Claridge Hotel becomes apartments

1983- Artist Louise Dunavant releases her first print "Spirit of Beale." She would release dozens more celebrating the sights of  Memphis and the riverfront.

1983, March - The Downtown Neighborhood Association creates the Roses and Radishes awards. Roses went to businesses the association said were promoting downtown and wilted radishes were those detracting. First rose recipient- Walgreen's at Main and Madison. The first radishes went to an Adult Movie Theater at 230 Union. 

1983, March 12 - The King's Heartbreak Hotel, a rock and roll themed restaurant, opens at 633 Monroe. It closed later that year. 

1983, April 19 - First run of the River City Choo Choo, a train that rode the streets of  downtown.  

1983, May- Memphis Police bring back horse patrols to downtown. The last ones were in 1948.

1983, May 11- despite a recently enacted anti-topless ordinance in the city, a nude scene was permitted in the opera “Macbeth” at Dixon-Myers Hall. Some in the audience protested the double standard by removing their tops.  

1983, September 7- Construction starts on $43.5 Million Holiday Inn - Crowne Plaza Convention Center Hotel. It is now the Sheraton

1983, September 18  - First annual Victorian Village Festival

1983, September- Showboat buses begin traveling from Downtown to Fairgrounds showing off local tourist attractions.

1983, October 8 - Beale Street remodeling complete and the street rededicated

1983, October 31- Last issue of the evening paper, MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR, published from 495 Union.

1983, November 1 - Jefferson Square Restaurant and the site of the first Piggly Wiggly Supermarket burns at 79 Jefferson. The owner will open The North End later that year.

1983, November 9 - After $500,000 in renovations the Clayborn  Temple reopens as the Calyborn Ball Temple

1983, November 24 - $6.5 million taken in Memphis' largest armed robbery at Wells Fargo at 277 Monroe. Four people were convicted almost a year later.

1983, December- First Memphis Express Marathon. Ran from Racquet Club in East Memphis to downtown and back. The last race was in 1985. Other Marathons would follow that included downtown.

1983, December 7- North End (now Westy’s) opens near Abraham’s Deli, making the neglected Pinch District a destination

1983, December 21 - After being a part of Memphis since 1939, the Maid of Cotton competition holds its last Memphis pageant before moving to Dallas. Valerie Rhea Bendall was crowned at the auditorium. The last Maid was crowned in Dallas, Texas in December, 1992

1984- Cotton Exchange Building remodeled

1984- Brinkley (former Lowenstein's)  remodeled

1984- Falls Building renovated

1984, January 7 - Grand reopening of the 56-year-old Orpheum as a performing arts venue

1984, January 16 - Belz family announces plans for the Peabody Place Development

1984, January- Owners announce the Rivermont Hotel will become Rivermark Condos

1984, April 30- Hotel King Cotton imploded to make way for Morgan Keegan Tower, starting the building of some of downtown’s first new office space in eleven years, according to THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL..

1984, May 5- 2,500-3,500 people show up at Tom Lee Park to try to break the record for the world’s largest aerobics class. The current record is over 48,000 and was set in the Philippines.

1984, May 13- Groundbreaking for One Memphis Place

1984, June 2 - Carl and Jean Boenish jump (with parachutes) from the top of the 430-foot-tall 100 North Main Building as a kickoff for the Cotton Carnival Parade. Carl would die five weeks later in a jump from a mountain in Norway. 

1984, June 28 - First Tennessee Heritage Gallery opens in the bank lobby of their Downtown headquarters 

1984, November - Voters in the downtown precincts 1 and 2 ( Fire station 1 and the Martin Luther King Labor Center at 485 Beale )   vote for President. Mondale (D) 1,511 Reagan (R) 224   

1984, December- William Len Apartments open at 110 Monroe.

1984, December - Beale Street Landing mall closes two years after opening

1985- One Memphis Place opens at 200 Jefferson Ave

1985- South Main Association formed

1985- Paper Works at 408 S Front remodeled for apartments and offices

1985, Jan 5- Bill Cosby performs at the Orpheum and mentions visiting the Mid America Mall. “I expected to find a Neimen Marcus or maybe a Sax 5th Avenue. But hey, you people are the only city in the country with a mall for the poor and needy,” he said to the audience.

1985, February - Jerry Lee Lewis rents penthouse apartment at 200 Wagner Place (now Waterford Plaza)

1985, April - Convention and Visitors Bureau launches the "Start Something Great in Memphis" ad campaign.

1985, May- Cotton Carnival’s name changed to the River Carnival

1985, May 1- Memphis gets cellular phone service

1985, May - Lincoln America Life Insurance moves headquarters from 60 North Main to Carmel, Indiana

1985, June - The newly remodeled Brinkley Plaza holds an open house

1985, July - Repair work gets underway to replace falling and broken marble tile from the City Hall exterior

1985, July 12- Convention Center Hotel opens, first as Holiday Inn Crown Plaza, now as a Sheraton.

1985, September- ALSAC Pavilion museum opens at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

1985, September - Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins team up together at Sun Studios to record under the name "The Class of 1955"

1985, November 30 - Blues Alley closes.

1986- Cotton Exchange Building renovated for offices

1986- Union Commons renovated

1986, January - MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL moves offices downtown. Its first issue was May 28, 1979 and titled MIDSOUTH BUSINESS. It was then published from 4515 Poplar.

1986, January- Residents move into the William Len Apartments (Now Residence Inn by Marriott at Main and Monroe)

1986, Feb 6- St. Jude hospital votes to stay in Memphis rather than move to Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

1986, March 4 - C&I Bank at 200 Madison announces it will merge with Boatman's Bank of Saint Louis, Missouri. It would take the name Boatman's Bank

1986, March 15- Radisson ( Now the Doubletree)  opens at 185 Union integrating a new building with the old Hotel Tennessee  (built in 1927). Cost $25 million.

1986, April - City Council votes to fund $600,000 for re landscaping and improving court square. The project took about six months

1986, May- Construction starts on Church Park on Beale Street

1986, May 5 - After Memphis tried to get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to move to the city, the museum  announced it will open ... in Cleveland, Ohio

1986, May 25- Memphians link hands in the “Hands Across America” event stretching from New York NY to Long Beach CA.

1986, Summer- Memphis Police Museum opens on Beale

1986, September 5- The lighting of the Hernando Desoto bridge celebrated with a party

1986, November - Remodeling of 378 South Main becomes the first project using $600,000 of county money spent to revitalize the South Main historic district. The first South Main Street Fest was also held that month

1986, December 11 - Time capsule buried in Court Square for excavation in 2036 to commemorate Tennessee Homecoming 1986. It was a year-long celebration of Tennessee culture.

1987- Parking Can Be Fun Garage opens on Union

1987- 88 Monroe remodeled

1987- The original St. Jude Hospital star-shaped building razed

1987- The South End opens at South Front and GE Patterson. It closed in 1995.

1987, February 25 - Memphis Fire Lieutenant Bobby Blackley killed in a wall collapse at the Design-Spec Seating Company at 338 Hernando Street

1987, April- First Africa in April festival

1987, April 15 to August 31 - Exhibit of Ramesses the Great begins a series of changing exhibits that will later be called The Wonders Series.

1987, May- “Ascent of the Blues,” a $250,000 sculpture built south of Morgan Keegan ( now Raymond James) Tower. Two years later, THE MEMPHIS FLYER lists this as one of Memphis’ top ten eyesores and on May 30, 1990, the structure collapsed.

1987, May 17- The Memphis Belle, the famous WWII B17, gets a new home on Mud Island

1987, June- Plans for Riverset apartments on Mud Island announced

1987, July- Sunset Cafe, a floating restaurant, opens on the river at the foot of Beale

1987, Summer- Spaghetti Warehouse opens on Hulling, a South Main Historic District pioneer

1987, September 15- The Tennessee Heritage Mural created by artists Edward Faires and Betty Gilow is dedicated in the lobby of the First Tennessee Bank.

1987 October 12- Columbus Park dedicated

1987, November 5- Church Park is dedicated on Beale St.

1987, November 30- McCall Avenue changed to Peabody Place

1987, December 5  - Re dedication of the Shelby County Courthouse. It was originally dedicated January 1, 1910, but had undergone major remodeling.

1987, December 27 - MID SOUTH MAGAZINE, the COMMERCIAL APPEAL'S Sunday magazine publishes its last issue. It debuted in March, 1965 and was replaced by PARADE magazine

1987, December 30- AW Willis Bridge opens from Auction ( Now A W Willis Avenue) to Mud Island

1988- Backstreet Couriers, a bicycle messenger service, opens downtown

1988- 88 Union Center remodeled

1988, February 2- Operators at the Criminal Justice Center begin answering calls at Memphis’ new 911 system.

1988, March 2 - Loraine Motel closed and tenants evicted so the motel can be converted into the Civil Rights Museum

1988, April 8 - Center City Commission stages an alley party at Center Lane between Union and Monroe  

1988, April 19 - Groundbreaking for the remodeling of the YMCA building on Madison into the new Fogelman YMCA

1988, May - Riverset Apartments, the first residential development on Mud Island, opens. 

1988, June- Memphis Center for Contemporary Art opens in S,. Main Historic District

1988, July 10 & 11- River stage at Memphis falls to -10.7 feet, the lowest recorded level

1988, August 23- Council votes to fund Pyramid arena

1988, August 27 & 28- First Center for Southern Folklore’s Mid south Music and Heritage Festival. In 1992 it would become the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

1988, November - Voters in the downtown precincts 1 and 2 ( Fire station 1 and the Martin Luther King Labor Center at 485 Beale ) vote for President. Dukakis (D) 1,069 Bush (R) 317

1989- Downtown YMCA remodeling completed and dedicated as the Fogelman YMCA

1989, January 27- Civil Rights Museum breaks ground

1989, February 16- 1st issue of  THE MEMPHIS FLYER published from offices on Tennessee Street

1989, June 4 - Mother Teresa arrives to dedicate a Sisters of Charity shelter at 7th and Keel.

1989, June 30 - The movie "Great Balls of Fire" released showing the life of Jerry Lee Lewis and portraying late 1950's Memphis. It was filmed the previous Fall and Winter.

1989, July 20 - First WEVL Blues on the Bluff concert held at the ground of the Ornamental Metal Museum. 

1989, July 20 - Memphis Flyer article discusses South Main still a hot area for prostitution and that rooms were available there at $2 per night

1989, July 22- Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band play the open area of Mud Island which had been turned into a sandy beach.

1989, September - Joseph Goodman and Son Jewelers announces it will close within the month. It had been part of Downtown since 1862.

1989, September 7- Rhodes Jennings Building, Central Station, the Showboat Buses and Assent of The Blues Sculpture listed as four of Memphis’ biggest eyesores by the MEMPHIS FLYER

1989,September 15 and 16 - The Big Dig ... groundbreaking of the Great American Pyramid begins construction

1989, December- Plan considered to change the name of Mud Island to Racapolis and turn it into a rock and roll and Ancient Egyptian theme park. It did not happen.

1989, December - Mayor Hackett proposes the city spend less effort on housing the poor in housing projects and more on getting them into houses and apartments throughout the city. This would later lead to turning Lauderdale Courts into apartments.

1989, December 26 - Belz Company announces the beginning of the construction of Peabody Place development, with the beginnings of a parking garage at 3rd and Peabody Place.

1990- Candy Factory at 262 Wagner remodeled

1990, January- The movie “Mystery Train” filmed in the South Main Historic District released across the country. It portrayed the area as empty and abandoned but with its own lovable charisma.

1990, April 1- Census shows 7,160 people living in downtown tracts of  1, 22, 41, 42, 43 and 44.

1990, April- Public station WKNO’s “Action Auction” takes bids for a home on Mud Island’s Harbor Town development. No one bid above the minimum bid.

1990, May 30- Henry Turley begins purchasing land for what will become the South Bluffs Community

1990, June 18- Goldsmith’s downtown closes

1990, July 20 - WEVL's first "Blues on the Bluff" concert held at the National Ornamental Metal Museum 

1990, July 26- Danny and Jeanne Richardson purchase house at 860 Riverpark Dr. They become the first homeowners on Mud Island.

1990, August 1- Lansky’s on Beale closes

1990, August 2 - South Main residents complain that prostitutes have returned to the area after a two year absence.

1990, October 28 - The Convention and Visitor's "Start Something Great in Memphis" advertising campaign is replaced my "Give Me Memphis, Tennessee."

1990, November- Community radio station WEVL moves to South Main

1990, December 3- Dr. Iben Browning forecast for a deviating earthquake to affect Memphis on this date didn't happen.

1991, January 24 - Actress Cybill Shepherd purchases home in the South Bluffs neighborhood at 525 Magnolia Mound. She sold the house in October, 2006

1991, February- 1st issue of MEMPHIS DOWNTOWNER magazine

1991, February 6 - Actor and founder of St. Jude hospital Danny Thomas dies. Buried at the hospital

1991, February 12- Marc Cohn releases CD with the hit “Walking in Memphis” with lots of downtown references

1991, February 19 - Abraham’s Deli at 338 N Main collapses. It had closed Jan 30.

1991, May- BB King’s Club opens on Beale Street

1991, May 31- Dianne's restaurant on top of the 100 N. Main Building becomes Pinnacle

1991, June 17- Sydney Schlenker removed as head of the Pyramid

1991 June 23-29 - World Police and Fire games hosted in Memphis, including downtown.

1991, July - Construction starts on the expansion of Tom Lee Park

1991, August 30 - Edward Pembroke, the long time duck master at the Peabody Hotel, retires. He started at the hotel in 1940.

1991, Sept 28- $9.2 million Civil Rights Museum opens

1991, Sept- Tonoke Building at 161 Jefferson vacates when the military processing station moves to Beale and Danny Thomas

1991, September 17- Article in THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL states Sterick Building will be put up for auction. There were two tenants remaining. The 1990 City Directory had a few dozen tenants

1991 November 9 - The Great American Pyramid opens at a cost of $65 million

1991, December 9 - Building at 91 South Main collapses. There were no injuries or deaths.

1992- Hays Building remodeled at 269-73 South Front

1992, January 1- Dr. Willie Herenton inaugurated as the first elected black mayor after a week of events to commemorate the events.

1992, March- First buyers of D.T. Porter condos

1992, April 25- Grand opening of South Bluffs

1992, July 10-12 - The former Mid South Music and Heritage now called Memphis Music and Heritage festival

1992, July 22- Area just east of Martyr's Park  purchased for a Planned Urban Development called Founder's Pointe. From 1995 to 1996, several luxury homes were built.

1992, July 25- A police escort brings the cooking grease from the Dyer’s Cafe location on Cleveland to its new home on Beale. Dyer’s claims it has used the same grease since its opening .

1992, Fall- Maria Montessori School opens at Harbor Town

1992, Oct.- Union Planters Bank (now Regions Bank) moves headquarters from downtown to East Memphis

1992, October - Sidewalks repaired around the Shelby County Courthouse marking an end to almost ten years of repairs to the building

1992, November 3 - Downtown voters in precincts 1 and 2 ( Fire Station 1 and St Patrick's Church) vote for President. Clinton (D) 1,390 Bush (R) 622 Perot (I) 129. In Mississippi voters approve riverboat casino gambling, which will eventually make Tunica a rival to Memphis as an entertainment venue.

1992, December- Lincoln American Tower closes

1993- Tom Lee Park expanded

1993, March 17 - George Russell opens Earnestine and Hazel's at Main and Calhoun ( now G E Patterson) 

1993, April- Arcade Hotel, featured in the movie “Mystery Train” razed

1993, April- Fire damages Hickman Building on Madison across from the YMCA. It had been vacant since 1971

1993, April 29-. Trolleys run 2.5 mile rail line and Mid America Mall returns to its old name of Main Street 

1993, May 1 - Smoking ban issued for inside all city government buildings

1993, June 30- “The Firm,” a big budget movie shot primarily in Memphis, is released.

1993, November- groundbreaking at AutoZone Headquarters. During the excavation of the site, archeologists discovered an unexploded Civil War canonball.

1993, November 16 - Captain Bilbo's Restaurant at 263 Wagner purchased by Houston-based Landry's Seafood. It reopened as a Landry's the following March   

1994, January-  Illustrating downtown’s growing population, the Memphis Police Department creates a new downtown precinct,

1994, February 9 - Major ice storm shuts down much of the city

1994, March - Landry's Seafood restaurant opens at 263 Wagner

1994, April- Senator Joe Cooper and Councilman Myron Lowery suggested putting a measure on the August ballot that would give or lease part of Mud Island to an American Indian tribe so casinos can open on the island. Didn’t happen.

1994, April 12 - THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL cartoonist Michael Ramirez awarded Pulitzer Prize

1994, May 13- Formation of the Memphis River Redevelopment Corporation

1994, December- McCrory’s (originally Kress) store at 9 North Main closes. It had been open since 1927

1994, December- Gayoso Apartments open

1995, November - Saint Mongo's Atonement Center, formerly Prince Mongo's Planet at 56 S. Front, closed. The business had many legal problems that year.

1995, November- Last of 900 AutoZone employees move into headquarters

1995, December 13 - groundbreaking for Peabody Place tower

1996- Sleep Inn opens near Court Square

1996, January- South End (Later Blue Monkey) at 529 S Front closes

1996, February 14 - The Commercial Appeal registers, its first website

1996, March 1- Hunt Phelan home, an antebellum mansion on Beale, opens to the public for tours.

1996, June - Tourist Information Center opens near Jefferson Davis Park

1996, June - The Former Saint Mongo's Atonement Center at 56-60 South Front painted pink. City Environmental Court dropped charges against him brought by the Memphis Landmarks Commission.

1996, October- production begins on traveling radio show “Beale Street Caravan” now produced in downtown Memphis

1996, October 7 - Dr. Peter Doherty, an immunologist from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, awarded Nobel Prize for Medicine. He shared the award with Dr Rolf Zinkernagel of Switzerland

1996, November - Voters is downtown precincts 1 and 2 vote for President. Clinton (D) 1,147 Dole (R) 563 Perot (I) 33

1996, November 19 - Bruce Springsteen plays the last performance at the Auditorium. It was razed and replaced with the Cannon Center For the Performing Arts.

1997- First phase of Peabody Place opens

1997- Penbroke Building opens

1997, March 14- Mississippi River reaches 40.76 feet at Memphis -- third highest level in recorded history

1997, May 29- Singer Jeff Buckley drowns while swimming near the Mud Island monorail bridge.

1997, June 24- Portion of Hernando Street becomes Rufus Thomas Blvd.

1997, Fall - Landry's Seafood at 263 Wagner become's Joe's Crab Shack

1997, October 23 - Blue Suede Brigade introduced by the Center City Commission to provide information to people traveling downtown

1997, November - Hard Rock Cafe opens on Beale Street

1997, November 15- Renovation of the Orpheum completed with traveling performance of "Phantom of the Opera"

1998- Heritage Tours opens the old Jacob Birkle house for regular visits as “Slave Haven,” a possible stop on the underground railroad.

1998- MEMPHIS PARENT magazine starts publishing from Contemporary Media. The magazine was founded in 1990.

1998, Jan 5- first grocery opens on Mud Island (Miss Cordelia’s Grocery store)

1998, January 17 - Ku Klux Klan marches downtown to protest the Martin Luther King holiday. Police use teargas to dispense the protesters

1998, September 3- Crowne Plaza downtown becomes Marriott

1998, October- Fire Museum opens

1998, December- St. Joseph Hospital closes after almost 110 years

1998, December 1- City Council approves changing the name of Calhoun Ave to Bishop G E Patterson Ave.

1999, January 12 - First Tennessee Bank unveils their new Tennessee Flag logo. The sign on top of their headquarters downtown was soon changed.

1999, February- Brownstone Hotel at 300 North 2nd reopens as Wyndham Garden

1999, May - The Cotton Makers Jubilee becomes the Kemet Jubilee

1999, May - Temple Deliverance Cathedral, a Church of God in Christ church, opens at 369 G E Patterson

1999, May 11- Park Commission cancels plans to turn Confederate Park into a park to honor cancer survivors

1999, July- Demolition begins on Ellis Auditorium

1999, August 6- dedication of the 1.1 mile Mississippi Riverbluff Walkway.

1999, September 24- Grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Central Station

1999, December 8 - St Peter's Catholic Church breaks ground on a national shrine honoring St. Martin de Porres, patron saint of social justice.

2000- Center City Commission adopts the slogan “Definitely Downtown”

2000, January 1 - B B King brings in the new millennium on Beale Street 

2000, January 14- Remodeled Central Station officially opened to the public

2000, March- Hampton Inn opens

2000, April - Cafe Francisco opens at 400 N. Main. It closed in September, 2007

2000, April 1- AutoZone park opens at a cost of $72 million

2000, April 1- Census shows 8,994 people living in the Downtown census tracts of 1, 22, 41, 42, 43 and 44.

2000, April 28- Rock and Soul Museum opens

2000, May 5 - Auction at the Hunt Phelan home on contents from the house, what was not auctioned off then was sold the following October. The city refused to fund the home as a museum

2000, August 24 - Fire severely damages St Mary's Episcopal Church

2000, September - The Center for Southern Folklore moves into 119 S. Main

2000, October 19- WC Handy Park for the Performing Arts opens

2000, November 7- Voters in downtown precincts 1 and 2  ( Fire Station 1 and St Patrick's Church ) vote for President. Al Gore (D) 914 George W Bush (R) 548 Ralph Nader (G) 40 Pat Buchanan (I) 1

2001- $100 million expansion of Cook convention Center. begins

2001, June 15 - Peabody Place Mall opens giving Memphis, among other things, downtown’s first movie theater since 1977

2001, July- Residents relocated from Hurt Village and Lauderdale Courts for creation of part of Uptown Memphis

2001, August 2 - Article in THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL says Chism Trail at 544 Peyton, the largest grocery in Downtown, had closed.

2001, August 13- Article in THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL states the Clayborn Ball Temple is now closed.

2001, October- Ross De Alessi Lighting Design presents a report for “Light It Up Memphis” a program to illuminate public buildings downtown  

2001, Oct. 9 - The Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis' NBA team, play their first game at Pyramid

2001, December 20 - Contract approved for the new basketball arena (later named the FedEx Forum). Among other things it contained a clause stating no events at the Pyramid arena could compete with events at the FedEx Forum.

2002- Spring Hill Suites opens

2002- Echelon at the Ballpark Apartments opens

2002, February- Uptown Resource Center opens

2002, March 22 - Felicia Suzanne's Restaurant opens at 80 Monroe Ave

2002, June- Madison Hotel opens

2002, June 8- Lenox Lewis defeats Mike Tyson  at the Pyramid

2002, June 20- Groundbreaking of FedEx Forum

2002 July 18- Emerge Memphis, Memphis’ first business incubator, opens at GE Patterson and Tennessee

2002, September 28- Dedication of the expansion of The Civil Rights Museum. The original section focused on the civil rights movement but this segment dealt with the assassination.

2002, October- Demolition begins on the old Hurt Village and Lauderdale Courts housing project and remodeling begins on Lauderdale Courts. The name Uptown Memphis and new logo are unveiled  

2002, October 16 - New basketball arena to be named The FedEx Forum

2002 November 26- Yellow Rose Cafe, the last business in the Lincoln America Building ( now Court Square Center) closes.

2003- Friends For Our Riverfront formed

2003- Blue Monkey opens at Front and GE Paterson

2003, January 25-  Grand Opening of Cannon Performing Arts Center

2003, March- Memphis Bell moved from Mud Island to Millington for restoration. It would later be sent for permanent dispaly in Dayton, Ohio. 

2003, April 30- May 2 - The Memphis Manifesto, a meeting of creative professionals, is held at the Plaza Club at Toyota Center Plaza. It's goal was  to make Memphis more of a draw to for the creative community  

2003, May 16 - Barbecue Contest evacuated due to a tornado warning.

2003, July 22 - A storm with straight-line winds wreck millions of dollars in damage on almost all areas of Memphis. Locals nicknamed it "Hurricane Elvis." 

2003,  August- Students return to St. Patrick’s School after a fifty year hiatus.

2003, September 16- Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Second and Beale closes.

2003, September 18- Urban Land Institute releases report on Memphis Riverfront Master Plan that includes creating a land bridge from Downtown to Mud Island

2003, October- leasing starts Greenlaw Place and Uptown Square Apartments

2003, October- Plans for Court Square Center announced combining the Lincoln America Tower, Court Annex and Rhodes Jennings Buildings

2003, December- remodeling begins on the old Kress Store for  Spring Hill suites by Marriott.

2003, December 21- Jack’s Food Store at Main and Jefferson destroyed by fire

2004- Marriott opens at 110 Monroe, site of the William Len Hotel

2004, January 5- Grizzlies House opens at St. Jude

2004, February 9 - University of Memphis announces the Tigers basketball team will play at the FedEx Forum

2004, March 15- trolley expands to the Medical Center

2004, March 19- Demolition begins on the former Cook and Love shoe store at the northeast corner of Main and Gayoso

2004, July 14- Groundbreaking of City House Condos on GE Paterson between Front and Tennessee Streets

2004, Summer- repaving at Court Square begins

2004, August - Uptown Square and Elvis Suite are unveiled

2004, September - Fire Station 4 opens at 1460 N. Second. The original Station 4 was on North Main where the Interstate 40 crosses and was closed in 1963.

2004, September 6 - The $196.1 million FedEx Forum opens with a open house.

2004, September- Uptown Condos begin selling in former Lauderdale Courts housing project.

2004, October- U S Air Force announces it will move the Memphis Belle to Dayton, Ohio.

2004, November 2 - Downtown voters in Precincts 1 and 2 cast ballots for President. Results: John Kerry ( D) 1,185 George W Bush (R ) 877 

2005, February- Demolition begins on the Beale Street Landing building at the southwest corner of Beale and Wagner. It was damaged in the July, 2003 windstorm

2005, March- The redesigned Court Square reopens with improvements, including WIFI access. .

2005, March 12- 71 homes sold -all before they were built- in three hours on Mud Island

2005, April 1- Ride The Ducks, a tour group of amphibious vehicles, takes to the streets of Memphis

2005, April - The “NBC” bank sign on top of One Commerce Square is replaced by “SunTrust”

2005, April 22 - October 30 - "The Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit is displayed at the Pyramid arena. It would become the last of the "Wonders" series of exhibits 

2005, July 17 and 18- Former Eureka Hotel at 356 Mulberry razed. It had been for sale and needing repair since January

2005, August 13- Reverend Al Sharpton comes to Memphis to rally in favor of changing the names of Confederate, Jefferson Davis and Forrest Parks

2005, Sept 18- Blue Monkey at 529 S Front destroyed by fire

2005, October 27- Preselling begins on The Horizon Condos, with two sixteen story towers.  

2005, December- After 40 years of gracing the skyline, the “UP BANK” sign is removed from the top of 100 North Main Building

2006, January- University of Memphis Law School announced it will relocate from the U of M campus to the post office at Front and Madison

2006, January, 11- Bass Pro Shops reaches "an agreement in principle" to turn the Pyramid into a outdoor mega store

2006, March 5 - Cotton Museum opens in the Cotton Exchange Building.

2006, March 5 - Memphis made films "Hustle and Flow" and "Walk the Line," win Academy Awards.

2006, May 13 - First downtown farmer's market held at Central Station. 

2006, June 30 - President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi eat lunch at the Rendezvous after a visit to Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum.

2006, September 3 - "American Idol" holds auditions at the FedEx Forum

2006, October - Joe's Crab Shack at 263 Wagner closes

2006, October 6 - Early morning fires destroy First United Methodist Church, The Court Square Annex and damage the Lincoln America Tower. Over two hundred firefighters were involved.

2006, October 9 - Tower Records, the largest store in Peabody Place Mall, announces it will be closing

2006, October 29 - Fishermen find a manatee swimming in the harbor between Mud Island and Downtown. The manatee was gone by the time rescuers from Sea World in Florida came to its rescue. It was later found dead.

2006, November 30 - Mayor Willie Herenton and Joe Frazier hold a boxing match at the Peabody to benefit the Shelby County Drug Court.

2007 - Cielo Restaurant at 679 Adams becomes Mollie Fontaine's Lounge under the same owners. The building had been there since 1886. 

2007, February 3 - Bob Seger holds a concert at The Pyramid. It was the last concert at the venue. 

2007, April 17 - Westin Hotel opens at South Second and George W Lee

2007, May 25 - Downtown's first "Zombie Walk" where visitors dressed as zombies walked through the streets of downtown 

2007, June 22 - Stax Record's 50th anniversary concert held at the Orpheum. 

2007, June 25 - Memphis marketing executive Greg Ericson of the Ericson Group presents Mayor Herenton with plans for an indoor amusement park at The Pyramid

2007, November - Ground breaks at the construction site of the 16 story, $67 million, Horizon Condominiums 

2008, February 23 - In perhaps one of the most anticipated sporting events in Memphis history, The FedEx Forum hosted number two ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers basketball team against number 1 ranked University of Memphis. The UT  won, 66 to 62.

2008, April 4 - Presidential Candidates Hilary Rodham-Clinton and John McCain visit the Civil Rights museum on the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination.

2008, April 20 - A basketball-sized hole appears in the southern part of the Central Station. Later that week the sinkhole expanded forcing Amtrak passengers to not use the station for several months

2008 May - Plough Foundation moves into Court Square Center ( formerly Lincoln American Tower ) becoming its first tenant

2008, June 18 - THE DAILY NEWS located at 193 Jefferson, expands to include a weekly newspaper, THE MEMPHIS NEWS.

2008, July 6 - Last movies shown at Muvico Peabody Place Theater

2008, July 30 - Groundbreaking for Beale Street Landing

2008, September 27 - Presidential candidate Barack Obama (and Secret Service agents) drops by Fogelman YMCA for an early morning workout. They left about an hour later.

2008, October 31 - The 82-year-old Delta Queen departs from Memphis on its last voyage

2008, November 4 - Voters in Downtown precincts 1 and 2 cast ballots for President. Results- Barack Obama ( D) 3,099. John McCain ( R ) 1,593.  

2008, November 4 - City Council approves the changing of the name of Auction Avenue to A. W. Willis Avenue

2009, January - Jillian's, a large bar/restaurant/entertainment complex at Peabody Place Mall, closes

2009, January 5 - After five years as a giant  hole in the ground, construction begins on Barbaro Alley Flats at Main and Gayoso

2009, February 27 - The TERRA (Technologically Environmentally Responsible Residential Architecture)  Home dedicated at North Main and Greenlaw. It was designed to be the most energy and environmentally efficient home in the area.

2009, March - Artist Jeff Zimmerman and Rhodes College began work on a giant mural near the YMCA and Autozone Park 

2009, March - Primetime Sports Bar opens in Peabody Place in the space vacated by Jillian's

2009, May 1- "$5 Cover", a Memphis-based TV series created by local director Craig Brewer, premiers on MTV

2009, June 25 - Mayor Willie Herenton announces he will resign July 10. 

2009, July - The 80 percent-complete Horizon Condominiums are sold to Capitol One for $17.4 million.  

2009, July 30 - Mayor Willie Herenton leaves and is replaced by Interim Mayor Myron Lowery,. He was the longest serving mayor in Memphis history

2009, September 10 - Poplar Tunes at 308 Poplar closes. It had been there since 1946.

2009, September 22 - The Dali Lama visits Memphis. Mayor ProTem Myron Lowery makes national news with his "fist bump" greeting at Tom Lee Park

2009, October 26 - AC Wharton sworn in as Memphis Mayor

2010, January 16 - Grand opening gala of the University of Memphis Law School which moved from the U of M campus to Downtown

2010, April 1 - Census shows the Downtown population of tracts 1, 21, 113, 42 and 43 have a population of 18,091

2010, September - Primetime Sports Bar at Peabody Place Mall closes.

2010, October 6 - Pinnacle Airlines announces a move into twelve floors of the One Commerce Square.building

2010, November 4 - A visit by this writer to Peabody Place Mall showed only two stores remaining- Coco and Lilly and Victoria Secret

2011, February 18 - George Vergos closes his coffee shop in the Dermon Building after 32 years in business. He died early the next month 

2011, March 26 - Building at 118 Madison collapses 

2011, May 10 - Mississippi River hits 47.8 feet at Memphis- one foot bellow its record in 1937

2011, July 3 - Memphis Police officer Timothy Warren shot an killed during a domestic fight at the Double Tree Hotel

2011, August - Visible Music College moves into 200 Madison Ave.

2011, October 14 - national tour of "Memphis- the Musical" starts at the Orpheum. It had been playing on Broadway for about two years.

2011, October 15 - Occupy Memphis begins its encampment at Civic Center Plaza 

2011, November 8 - Greyhound Bus Lines moves its station from Downtown to Airways

2012, April 23 - Statue of Ramesses II moved from the old Pyramid arena to the University of Memphis campus

2012, June 21 - Construction begins to remodel the Pyramid arena into a Bass Pro Shop

2012, June 30 - Independent Bank lights it's new sign at One Commerce Square

2012, July 11 - Sign on Morgan Keagan Building changed to Raymond James

2012, August - Occupy Memphis protesters evicted from the Civic Center Plaza. It was one of the last of the "Occupy" protests in the US

2012, September - Easy Way Grocery at 80 N Main closes. It had been there since 1932

2012, Sept 21 - Buzzi Unicem USA Cement plant near I-40 and Front demolished 

2012, Sept 21 - Mississippi River reaches -9.79 feet, the lowest level since 1988

2012, Nov 1 - First public event at Beale Street Landing- a fund raiser for the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation

2012, November 6 - Downtown voters in precincts 1 and 2 ( Progressive MB Church and Greenlaw Community Center) cast ballots for President. Results:Barack  Obama (D) 2,907. Mitt Romney ( R ) 1,598. Gary Johnson ( L ) 37

2012, November 28 - article in The Daily News says parking garage adjacent to 147 Jefferson is being razed. The building was constructed in 1954.

2013, January 24 - Pinnacle Airlines announces it will move its downtown headquarters from Memphis to Minneapolis, Minnesota  

2013, February 5 - City Council votes to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate and Jefferson Davis parks to Health Science, Memphis and River parks

2013, March 30 - Ku Klux Klan rallies downtown. Police report few most of the counter protesters decided to meet at the fairgrounds   

2013, April 4 - Linden Avenue between Front and Lamar changed to Martin Luther King Avenue

2013, April 26 - Gene Carlisle announces plans to become the major investor in work to change the former Chisca Hotel into apartments

2013, August 12 - Marriott Hotel next to the Convention Center becomes a Sheraton

2013, November - The Columbus Statue removed from Columbus Park at 3rd and Adams for refurbishing and a move to Marquette Park in East Memphis. The statue was dedicated Columbus Day, 1987.

2013, November 22 - Elliot's Hamburgers at 16 S Second closes. It had been at the location since 1978

2013, December 16 - Hilton announces it will build a hotel at the site of the old Greyhound station at 235 Union. The old station was torn down in 2014

2014, January 7 - Memphis City Council votes to purchase Auto Zone Park for $19.5 million.

2014, March 12 - High Ground News, an online magazine, begins publication. 

2014, April 4 - The National Civil Rights Museum reopens after extensive remodeling

2014, April 24 - June 1 - The old Tennessee Brewery opens as a performing arts venue in an event called Tennessee Brewery Untapped. The brewery closed in the 1950's, later to be used as a scrap metal facility which closed in 1981.

2014, May 1 - The Royal Family visits downtown as Princes William and Harold attend a wedding party at The Rendezvous.

2014, June 1 - Last of tenants vacate the 100 North Main Building to begin a $100 million transformation into a hotel and apartments. 

2014, June 6 - Riverside Drive reopens after Memphis in May as a two lane road with the other lanes used for bicycles. After a year it was returned to four lanes

2104, June 10 - Trolley service suspended by MATA after two separate trolleys caught fire. Trolley service began in 1993.

2014, June 28 - Grand opening celebration held marking the completion  of the last work on Beale Street Landing

2014, July 10 - D Canale purchases building at 301 S. Front to be used as a distillery and public tasting room. 

2014, July- T J Mulligans closes at 362 N Main. It had been opened for over 20 years

2014, August 5- The Daily News announces the Donnelley J Hill State Office Building at 170 North Main has been vacated by the state for space at One Commerce Square

2014, September 25 - "Tear down party" of a former Burger King at 151 Madison Ave. to be replaced by a small park with actual demolition later that week. The restaurant had been closed for over ten years and regarded as an eyesore.  

2014, October 10 - Dawn Properties purchases the unfinished Horizon Condominiums for $13.5 million.

2014, November - Residents begin moving into The Press Box Lofts at 195 Madison. The building had been empty since the early 1990's

2104, December - Crye-Leike offices at 179 Madison vacated for conversion into a boutique hotel

2015, January- $6.5 million in improvements to Auto-Zone Park begins shortly after New Years. 

2015, March 27 - Developer Archie Willis announces plans for a $52 Million development at the train station including, possibly, a grocery store, parking garage and movie theater. 

2105, April 1 - After 79 years of being owned by  E.W. Scripps, The Commercial Appeal becomes part of The Journal Media Group. The lighthouse logo which was a fixture on the masthead since 1983 disappeared with the April 1 issue. 

2015, April 7 - Software company Lokion replaces the long-time "Memphis Business Journal" sign at 88 Union.

2015 April 29 - Bass Pro Shop opens with a Ducks Unlimited fundraiser  "An Evening for Conservation."

2015, May 8 - The Blues Hall of Fame opens at 421 South Main.

2015, May 23 - The last Memphis in May Sunset Symphony held. It was an annual event since 1977.

2015, May 27 - B. B. King's funeral procession heads down Beale Street for his burial in Indianola, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis in 1946. 

2015, June 26 - At the Shelby County Courthouse, Bradley Foreman and Chris Brower become the first same sex couple issued a marriage license in the county

2015, July 8 - Just two months since its opening, The Bass Pro Shop receives its  1 millionth visitor 

2015, August 13 - The Land Use Control Board approves changing the name of a two mile stretch of 3rd Street to BB King Street

2015, September 3 - Chisca on Main apartments at 272 S Main accepts first tenants in the Plaza ( the smaller southern segment) while the main hotel was still being remodeled   

2015, September 23 - Halloran Performing Arts Center opens.

2016, February 1 - Lyfe Kitchen restaurant opens at 272 S. Main replacing the old Chisca Hotel sign with its own

2016, February 5 - Memphis Police move from their old station at the Central Train Station to a new one at 444 North Main

2016, May 28 - Memphis In May ends with the first 901 Fest

2016, June 3- After being empty for about 5 1/2 years, Peabody Place Mall was announced to be the new location of Service Master, INC. Construction began a few days later 

2016, June 4 - A man shoots two customers at Westy's restaurant, runs to Bass Pro Shop, shoots a third and then while being pursued by police hits and kills an officer at Beale and BB King. One of the men shot died 13 months later.

2016, July 10 - Protesters block traffic on the Hernando DeSoto bridge and are peacefully removed after city officials agree to meet with leaders to discuss their grievances. Everything from start to finish was broadcast on live TV.  

2016, October 22- The Big River Crossing opens. It is a pedestrian/ bicycle bridge along the Harahan Bridge connecting Tennessee with Arkansas. 

2016 November 8- Voters in the Downtown precincts of 1 and 2 ( Greenlaw Community Center and Progressive MB Church ) vote for Hilary Clinton ( D) 3,868. Donald Trump (R) 1,314. Gary Johnson ( L) 206 and Jill Stein (G) 36

2017, March 8 - Vacant since 1971, developers of the Hickman Building seek tax abatements. Remodeling began later that year.

2017, April 17 - Last run of The Commercial Appeal presses at 495 Union Avenue. Subsequent papers were printed in Jackson, Tennessee. 

2017, April 21 - Downtown's "pocket park" opens on Madison and Maggie Isabell Street. It was the site of a former Burger King knocked down in September, 2015.  

2017, December 20 - Statues of Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes removed from Memphis parks. 

2018, January 11 - Steeple placed on the reconstruction of First United Methodist Church. The original came down in a October, 2006 fire.

2018, February 19 - first Service Master employees move into their new headquarters, the former Peabody Place Mall. 

2018. April: Thousands show up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis. 

From sources including the archives of  THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL, MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, DOWNTOWN DEVELOPER, MEMPHIS DOWNTOWNER, THE MEMPHIS FLYER, MEMPHIS MAGAZINE, THE MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR. The books,  MEMPHIS: AN ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE by Eugene J. Johnson and Robert D. Russell Jr., ASK VANCE, by Vance Lauderdale.,,,, The files of the Memphis Room at the Memphis Shelby County Public Library and Information Center and Ned R McWherter Library at the University of Memphis. Internet Movie Database.

Return to