4 Tennessee Sites Added To National Register Of Historic Places

Monday, November 1, 2021

The Tennessee Historical Commission, the state agency that is designated as the State Historic Preservation Office, on Monday announced the addition of four properties to the National Register of Historic Places.  They include a former school, revitalized downtown theatre, an eclectic urban residence and a rural church and cemetery.

“Tennessee has a tremendous inheritance of important historic places that are highlighted by the diversity of these recent National Register listings.” said State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director Patrick McIntyre. 

The properties recently added to the National Register of Historic Places are: 

Lauderdale High School  (Ripley - Lauderdale County) 
Located in Ripley, the county seat of Lauderdale County, the Lauderdale High School is an important example of how African Americans utilized schools as  multi-purpose community buildings.  While the education of African American youth during Jim Crow may have been the primary focus of the school building, Lauderdale High School was the focus for many civic and social activities. The core of the school building was built in 1912 as the Lauderdale County Training School, but around 1950 the school was expanded to its current size and appearance as part of the “separate but equal” doctrines of that time. It was not until after the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare mentioned cutting off funds for counties failing to meet desegregation guidelines, that the Lauderdale High School closed in 1969.

Dixie Theatre  (Lewisburg - Marshall County) 
Lewisburg’s Dixie Theatre was built on the city’s courthouse square in 1936.  The two-story brick building with muted Art Deco detailing was remodeled in 1978, 1994 and 1997. Opening in 1936, the theatre became a major part of the entertainment history of  Lewisburg. Live performances as well as movies were featured.  The Boyd family first opened a theatre on the square in 1913 but moved their theatre operations to this building in 1936. The new building featured air conditioning and cushioned seats.  Like many theatres in the South, the Dixie Theatre was segregated.  African American patrons had to enter a separate door and  were only allowed balcony seating; there were no restroom facilities for African American patrons. The theatre was updated several times in an effort to attract movie-goers.  Closing in 1985, the Marshall County Community Theatre purchased the building around 1993-4 and opened it for performances in 1995.

Daniel Hanley House (Memphis - Shelby County)
An eclectic version of an American Foursquare residence in Memphis, the 1912 Daniel Hanley house is 2 ½ stories, sheathed in weatherboards and capped by a multi-hipped roof.  The American Foursquare is a form  – square or rectangular and often with dormers – that has different styles applied to it. The Hanley residence has  brackets under the eaves, a wraparound porch, two-story bay and several styles of windows that reflect the earlier Queen Anne style of architecture.   The symmetry of the façade, porch columns and railing and main entry with sidelights and transom suggest the popular Classical/Colonial Revival style.  Comprising the more ornate Queen Anne and the less ornate classical style, this combination is known as Free Classic and was a popular transitional style in the early 20th century.  The Hanley house is a good example of this form and style.

Parker’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and Cemetery (Portland - Sumner County)
The Parker’s Chapel property includes the 1956 brick church building, 1970 concrete block fellowship hall and the historic cemetery (1885).  A unique feature of the complex is that local craftsman Joe Cornelius Coakley carved about 2 dozen grave markers and the cornerstone of the church building.   Freed slaves established the church soon after the American Civil War. During the first part of the 20th century, a Rosenwald School (gone) was built on adjacent property, making this immediate area the center of the community.  Homecomings, sports and meetings such as the garden club and community improvement club were popular. The church also hosted events relating to desegregation and voting rights.  Events continue to be held at the church and fellowship hall.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The SHPO administers the program in Tennessee.  

For more information or copies of the nominations contact Rebecca Schmitt at Rebecca.schmitt@tn.gov.  You can also find the nominations by clicking here. Visit http://tnhistoricalcommission.org to find out more about their programs.


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