When you cross the Hernando DeSoto Bridge into Memphis, you can't help but notice the beauty of the Memphis skyline. Its historical architecture combined with modern elements make it a scene to behold. Scattered throughout this skyline are some of the city's tallest buildings. Read about these buildings, their impressive sizes, and their significance to the city of Memphis.
100 North Main
100 North Main is currently Memphis' tallest skyscraper. It stands at 430 feet, and it has 37 stories. It's located in the heart of downtown Memphis, a short walk to the Mississippi River and the famous Memphis Pyramid. While originally built as an office building the skyscraper currently stands vacant. For years, many people knew this high-rise as the "UP" or "Union Planters" building as it was topped with a giant Union Planters Bank sign. This sign was removed in 2006. There have been many attempts to turn it into a hotel (maybe a convention hotel) but none have succeeded just yet.
Raymond James Tower
The Raymond James Tower (formerly the Morgan Keegan Tower) is located at 50 North Front Street in downtown Memphis. Although the building only has 21 stories, it is Memphis' second highest building, standing at a height of 403 feet. This height includes the 61-foot-tall spire that crowns the building. Construction of the Raymond James Tower was completed in 1985 at the site of the demolished Hotel King Cotton. Four giant stone griffins are displayed in the lobby that were part of the hotel.
Unlike many of Memphis' other skyscrapers that are located downtown, Clark Tower looms over East Memphis at 5100 Poplar Avenue. This iconic 34-story building stands 400 feet tall, giving it the distinction of Memphis' third tallest building (some people contend that it's the second largest as the spire of the Raymond James Tower doesn't count.) Clark Tower consists primarily of office space, but also houses the Bistro 33 restaurant on the 33rd floor of the building. The restaurant offers some of the best views in Memphis.
One Commerce Square
Memphis' fourth tallest building is One Commerce Square (pictured in the background above). Previously, the building housed NBC (bank) and then Suntrust Bank. Now, it is distinguished by a large "iBank" sign and colloquially referred to as the iBank building. One Commerce Square has 31 stories and stands 396 feet tall. Construction of the building was completed in 1973. It is located at 40 S Main St, which is the heart of downtown.
The Sterick Building is a beautiful skyscraper at 8 North 3rd Street in downtown Memphis. When it was built in 1930 it was not only the tallest building in Memphis but in the entire South. Now it is the city's fifth tallest building standing at 365 feet tall. It has 29 stories. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It has stood vacant since 1980. Memphians are currently debating how to give it a second-life and preserve its grandeur.
First Tennessee Bank Building
There is one more impressively tall structure that stands in downtown Memphis. The First Tennessee Bank Building is located at 165 Madison Avenue. The office building stands 332 feet high with 25 floors making it Memphis' sixth tallest skyscraper. Construction of the building was completed in 1964. This skyscraper is known for its light displays during the holidays. Locals travel from all over to awe at them. The First Tennessee Bank is changing its name in the fall of 2019 and thus the building's name will probably change too. Stay tuned.