Beale Street Historic District

Beale St. from 2nd to 4th Sts., Memphis, Tennessee



This district is recognized for its importance in the development and influence of the "blues," a unique Black contribution to American music. This popular musical style was born on a Beale Street lined with saloons, gambling halls, and theaters. William Christopher Handy (1878-1958), a preeminent figure in the establishment of composed blues, wrote "Memphis Blues" here. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, May 23, 1966

National Register information 

Note: The following information comes from the NRHP database and has not been verified.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival; American Movement
Areas of significance
Performing Arts; Entertainment/Recreation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Music facility; Business; Single dwelling; Financial institution; Theater
Current function
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1900-1924
Significant years
ca. 1900; 1930
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 30
Non-contributing buildings: 9