Address: S. Front St. between Monroe and Gayoso Aves., Memphis, Tennessee. County/parish: Shelby.
26 contributing buildings. 1 contributing site.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places August 01, 1979.
Also known as:
Cotton Row Historic District defines the center of the Mid-South Cotton Agri-business. From 1826, the first cotton arrived. These 300 bales were brought by wagon. Even today, cotton is important to Memphis. By the start of the American Civil War, Memphis with its river port, bankers, manufacturers, and brokers became the business focus for the Mid-South. By 1900, the city was the world's leading inland cotton market and the largest producer of cottonseed oil. During the 1880s and 1890s, between 400,000-700,000 cotton bales arrived yearly in Memphis. The cotton industry had a great influence on the city and the region. A variety of jobs were created, such as: spinners', buyers, buyers for expert, cotton classers, weighers, compress hands and clerks.
The buildings of Front Row, aka Front Street were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They are utilitarian and unpretentious. Functionalism dominated the design of these building in a period when architectural expression was varied. The exceptions are the Joseph N. Oliver Building (99,101,103 South Front Street) and the Hart Building (48 South Front Street).
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National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/79002467