Putting neighborhoods on the National Register is an exhaustive, dedicated process. In this special series, the keeper of the Memphis Heritage Historic Properties Catalogue gives us snapshots of some wonderful but lesser-known historic neighborhoods.
St. Paul Avenue Historic District
By John Dulaney
This compact historic district lies just west of Walnut Street, midway between Vance Avenue and Crump Boulevard. From Memphis Heritage’s Historic Properties Catalogue: “St. Paul Avenue Historic District is a small group of two single-family houses and nine double-shotgun duplexes developed along [Boyd Street and] St. Paul Avenue dating between ca. 1890 and ca. 1923.
The two types exemplify two separate waves of housing development occurring over an approximately 40-year span. The larger houses are good examples of middle-class homes from before ca. 1910. These particular shotgun homes were developed primarily for worker housing [in the early 1920s] when demand superseded single-family use, but exhibit different treatments of roofs, window sashes, porch configurations and other elements that confer unusual variety to the different buildings.
“While many thousands of shotgun houses once stood in Memphis, the municipal initiatives for “slum clearance” and urban renewal have left only a very few of these developments in place, the St. Paul district being one example…”excerpt from the 1998 National Register nomination
The district was listed on the National Register in 1998. In 2018, the City of Memphis designated St. Paul Avenue as a site on the “Memphis Heritage Trail.”
Read more about Memphis’ National Register properties and all of Dulaney’s Districts featured throughout this issue of StoryBoard Memphis.
This article and all of Dulaney’s Districts originally appeared in print Issue X, the August 2019 Neighborhood Issue, front page and pages 12, 23-25.