Most of Memphis’ existing historic buildings were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Growth moved from the Mississippi River and Downtown westward as the population grew and housing was developed for the newly affluent and middle class in what we now generally call Midtown.
If you are considering purchasing an historic home, if you already live in one, or if you are just interested in Memphis’ historic neighborhoods and buildings you will find some useful information at the Memphis Landmarks Commission site.
The Memphis Landmarks Commission is committed to protecting our city’s historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks. According to the Commission’s website:
Created in 1976, the Landmarks Commission is an advocate for historic preservation and the distinctiveness to Memphis neighborhoods that is created by the presence of so many special buildings…Today, there are 13 historic preservation districts: Annesdale-Park, Annesdale-Snowden, Collins Chapel, Cotton Row, Gayoso-Peabody, Glenview, Lea’s Woods, Maxwelton, Rozelle Annesdale, South Main Street and Victorian Village. These are not the same as historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and City Council approval is required for a local historic district.
It should be noted that some neighborhoods considered historic are not designated as historic preservation districts, most notably Cooper Young, and Vollintine Evergreen.
Here is a useful link to a list of Landmarks Districts, maps of their borders, and guidelines for new construction and improvements to existing structures. you will find some guidelines, like Central Gardens, to be quite detailed while others are of a more general nature.
Please let me know if I can assist you with the purchase or sale of an historic home or help you get going in the right direction with your research.