Friday, January 23, 2015

Pinch Could Lose Historic Register Listing

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:09 PM

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The Pinch District is once again in the crosshairs of the Tennessee Historical Commission to be removed from the National Register of Historic Places.

According to Memphis Heritage, the commission will vote on the matter next week in a meeting set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28 in Nashville.

A petition on the matter is ready to be sent to the National Parks Service. It says while the Pinch was the “cradle of early Memphis,” the district has declined since it was listed on the register in 1979.

Since then, it has lost many of its buildings, and “has lost the significance for which it was listed and no longer retains integrity of location, setting, design, materials, workmanship and feeling. Therefore, the Pinch-North Main Commercial District should be removed from the National Register of Historic Places.”

The original nomination to the list was comprised of 41 buildings or sites in the Pinch. The figure was bumped up to 43 in 1990 in an administrative correction. But in the time of Pyramid’s construction and its closure, only 19 of the buildings remain in the Pinch.

“The expanse of vacant lots is distressing for what once was the cradle of the City of Memphis,” the petition says.

Those vacant lots are largely due to the lack of restrictions on surface parking lots when the Pyramid was built. So, many buildings came down as property owners looked to cash in on Pyramid parkers.

The commission wanted to remove the Pinch last year. Officials said at the time they had looked to de-list the area for years.

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