Shelby County

US States / O-U / Tennessee / Shelby County
Shelby

Shelby County is named for Isaac Shelby, who was commander at Kings Mountain, First Governor of Kentucky and who negotiated the purchase of the western districts from the Chickasaw Native Americans.

 

Created:  November 24, 1819

County Seat: 

Memphis  1819 – present

 

County Courthouse – Memphis  

 

Location:  140 Adams Avenue / North 2nd Street

Built:  1906 – 1909

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  James Gamble Rogers and H D Hale of Hale & Rogers of Chicago, Illinois

Contractor:  Local trades

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a three story blue Bedford limestone, yellow colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The south front has many columns with recessed porch. The east and west ends project from the main building with a columns on either side of the recessed entrance. The rear off the building has statuary along the cornice below the flat roof line. There is a square center court yard and statuary around the building. The courtrooms are along the long marble halls on the first and second stories. The courtroom used by the Tennessee Supreme Court is located at the southeast corner of the second story. The building was renovated from 1980 to 1992. The architect was Design Associates Inc. and Hnedal & BoBo Grooup Inc. and the contractor was Inman Construction Corporation.

 

Note:  The previous courthouse was housed in the Overton Hotel constructed in 1874. The present courthouse has ambitious sculpture executed by J Massey Rhind and includes the pediment groups, Canon Law, Roman Law, Statutory Law, Civil Law and Criminal Law. Female allegorical figures can be found on the north facade cornice representing Integrity, Courage, Mercy, Temperance, Prudence and Learning. Flanking the main entrances are over life sized seated figures embodying Wisdom, Justice, Liberty, Authority, Peace and Prosperity.

 

County Criminal Courts – Memphis  

 

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Location:  201 Poplar Avenue / North 3rd Street

Built:  1979 – 1981

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Mahan & Shappley Architects, Inc.

Contractor:  Gardner & Howe

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a twelve story rectangular structure. The south front has an entrance section with stairs running to a hallway beneath the front plaza. Along the first story are glass windows. The upper windows are horizontal and the roof line is flat.  The construction manager was Grinder, Taber, Grinder Inc.

 

County Administration – Memphis  

 

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Location:  160 North Main Street / Poplar Avenue

Built:  1966 – 1968

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Gassner-Nathan-Browne-Hagland & Venable

Contractor:  Harmon Construction Company

 

Description:  The building faces west and is a twelve story rectangular concrete and glass structure. The first story has a recessed section with pillars which rise as horizontal dividers between the square windows. The roof line is flat.

 

County Hall of Records – Memphis 

 

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Location:  150 Washington Avenue / North 2nd Street

Built:  1924 – 1925

Style:  Renaissance

Architect:  Jones & Furbrinder

Contractor:  Kaucher Hodges & Company

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a five story stone structure. The south front has a projecting center section with arched entrance on the first story and three narrow vertical windows on the second story. The first and second stories have a parapet along the roof line with the third to fifth stories being recessed. The building served as the Criminal Courts until 1982 and is located on the north side of the courthouse.

 

Courthouses: 

N – Tipton County

E – Fayette County

S – Marshall County, Mississippi and DeSoto County, Mississippi

W – Crittenden County, Arkansas

 

 

 

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County Courthouse

 

 

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County Criminal Courts

 

 

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County Administration

 

 

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Photos taken 2011 and 2018