Memphis in May presents a series of 90-minute walking tours on the sidewalks, alleys, parks and plazas of Downtown Memphis that covers all aspects of historical events and places, tall buildings and limitless facts throughout Downtown. All tours are open to the public, free and handicapped accessible.
Saturday, May 4
1:00 p.m. Pinch District
Considered the original neighborhood of Memphis, where the first lot was conveyed, site of the original waterfront, first Post Office and first tavern. Sites include Auction Square, Pyramid, Convention Center, Market Square, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Lauderdale Courts (where the Presley family lived), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Gayoso Bayou and more. Assemble at Westy’s Restaurant, 346 N. Main at Jackson.
3:00 p.m. Civic Center Plaza, Adams Avenue & Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse
Gather in the shadows of the City, State and Federal buildings at the Memphis In May Plaza of Flags recognizing previous honored countries. Public art, QuiltSurround, Claridge House, Downtown Memphis Commission, Calvary Episcopal Church Magevney House, St. Peter Catholic Church, Fire Museum, topped off by an exclusive tour of the century-old Courthouse.
Saturday, May 11
1:00 p.m. The Great Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour
From Riverside Drive to the Peabody Hotel, sites along the way the historic Mississippi River, cobblestone wharf, Promenade, Cotton Row, November 6th 1934 Street, WDIA, Charlie Vergos Rendezvous Alley, AutoZone Park, and inside peek of Lansky Brothers Clothing Store and the Peabody Lobby. Meet at the Cotton Museum, Union & Front.
3:00 p.m. Beale Street & Memphis Heritage Trail
Assemble where “Broadway Meets Beale” at the Orpheum Theatre (Main & Beale) for a walk “with your ten feet off of Beale” past Elvis Presley Plaza, B.B. King’s, Handy Park, Withers Collection, W.C. Handy House, Robert Church Park, and back on the Memphis Heritage Trail to Clayborn Temple, I AM A MAN Plaza, FedEx Forum, the intersection of King & King(!), Dr. MLK, Jr. Reflection Park, Hotel Chisca and Bobby “Blue” Bland Plaza.
Saturday, May 18
1:00 p.m. Court Square & Surroundings
The very basic core of the center city, Court Square is one of the original four squares laid out in the 1819 town plan. Meet at the historic Hebe Fountain under the shade of century old trees to view the Gazebo, many historic tall buildings, even where Thomas Edison once worked, Stereo Alley and the site of the first self-service grocery store in America (1916), Piggly Wiggly.
3:00 p.m. South Main Historic District
Between the bridges where Downtown met the railroads and the river in the 19th & 20th centuries, a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places marching into the 21st century with a re-purposing and renewal of authentic buildings and public spaces Sites include Hotel Chisca, where the first Elvis record played over the radio (WHBQ) by legendary Dewey Phillips, 100-year-old Arcade Restaurant, Central Station, Jack Robinson Gallery, Blues Hall of Fame, National Civil Rights Museum., and numerous art galleries, boutique shops, coffee shops, restaurants and watering holes! Meet at Hotel Chisca, South Main & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue.
Architects of the World Lecture Series in partnership with AIA Memphis: David Basulto
David Basulto, founder and Editor-in-Chief of ArchDaily to speak on Memphis’ place in global architecture on May 7, 2019; David is highly regarded and previously presented at Harvard (Boston, USA), Escola do Cidade (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Strelka Institute (Moscow, Russia), Tsinghua University (Beijing, P.R. China), among others. ArchDaily’s mission is “to improve the quality of life of the 3 billion people who live in cities in the next 40 years, by providing inspiration, knowledge, and tools to the architects who fill face this challenge.”
Tuesday, May 7
6:00 pm reception, followed by 6:30 pm talk
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art / Free admission
1934 Poplar Ave - Memphis, TN 38104
- Beale Street Music Festival
- World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
- Great American River Run
- Celebrate Memphis
- 2019 Salute