Before & After: Memphis' South Main Historic District

Modern Cities takes a before and after look at the transformation of Memphis' South Main Historic District from a declining industrial district into a trendy pedestrian friendly urban neighborhood.

361-365 South Main - 1982

361-365 South Main - 2018

275 South Main - 1982

275 South Main - 2018

406 Mulberry (Lorraine Motel) - 1982

406 Mulberry (Lorraine Motel) - 2018

South Main Street - 1982

South Main Street - 2018

2018 photographs courtesy of Adrienne Burke

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro and — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at