The Memphis cityscape includes architectural treasures like the pioneering D.T. Porter skyscraper from 1895, and the Colonial Revival Orpheum Theatre. The Beaux Arts Memphis Exchange Building and the Neo-Gothic Sterick Building are further architectural highlights from the past, joined by contemporary structures like the FedEx Forum. The architecture anchored on the Mississippi River is equally admired -- the American Queen is the largest steam paddle wheeler ever built.
Every year, Elvis Presley’s famed home Graceland attracts as many visitors as Memphis has residents – about 600,000 people. Twice a day, a celebrated Memphis tradition takes place at the Peabody Hotel, where the hotel’s resident ducks march through the red-carpeted marble lobby of the Italian Renaissance guest house. The two blocks of pedestrian-only Beale Street are world-famous as one of the cradles of blues music – W.C. “Father of the Blues” Handy’s house can be found at #352. Sun Studio, where Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all recorded their first albums, still stands as a rock and roll shrine. The Lorraine Motel strikes a more somber note – the site of Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination, it now operates as the National Civil Rights Museum.
One recent Memphis real estate trend is the redevelopment of heritage buildings to accommodate apartments for sale. The housing market now includes 7,449 condo units. Overall, there are 5,607 multi-family properties and 1,324 apartment buildings. Homes for sale pop up regularly in the city’s stock of 179,338 single family residences.
Commercial real estate counts 4,919 properties and the bustling waterfront city still offers 3,229 industrial sites for potential sale, with 439 additional assets classified as mixed use. Memphis has 11,393 vacant lots and nearly half of that undeveloped real estate is made available for acquisition by the Shelby County Land Bank.
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) runs buses throughout the city, providing express services to some of the outer suburbs. MATA operates 3 trolley lines in the downtown core. The popular, antique electric-powered cars had been sidelined by a fire, but the city has been making efforts to have them back on the tracks by the end of 2017.
Memphis schools are operated by the extensive Shelby County School District, which oversees more than 200 public schools. The University of Memphis, with over 20,000 students, is the standard-bearer for over a dozen institutions of higher learning in the city, including Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University and Baptist College of Health Sciences.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is the largest healthcare provider in the American Mid-South with 7 hospitals and an extensive rural network. Baptist Memorial Healthcare covers almost as much medical real estate with 3 hospitals in Memphis alone. The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the world’s leading research and care facilities devoted to pediatric care.
Memphis is 3 times more violent than Tennessee overall. Violent crimes here have an occurrence of 1 in 57, while Tennessee averages 1 in 163. Property crimes are also elevated here, occurring at twice the rate in Memphis than in the state as a whole.
The party in Memphis usually begins or ends on Beale Street and the music really amps up in May during the Beale Street Music Festival. Music fans can pay homage to their favorite soul singers at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. For those whose musical tastes lean towards classical and opera, the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts is the place to be.
Memphis is a true foodie hotspot. Dyer’s Burgers on Beale Street has been grilling burgers here for over 100 years, and the walls at Central BBQ are covered with the blue ribbons won for its dry rub ribs. If you want to sample the fares of a gamut of grill masters, head for Tom Lee Park and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The Grizzlies of the NBA make Memphis a big-league sports town, but the city saves up plenty of cheers for the University of Memphis Tigers as well.
Mud Island Mississippi River Park has pedal boats and rafting, while Memphis Riverboats ply the waters for sightseeing cruises. Shelby Farms Park Conservancy preserves 4,500 quiet acres for hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching.