What is Memphis Heritage Trail?
Memphis Heritage Trail is a revitalization project focused on an underserved but historically vital section of the city. Its goals include renovating existing structures, attracting tourists, showcasing the city’s history, and revitalizing residential neighborhoods.
Memphis Heritage Trail (MHT) is the culmination of a carefully executed plan to stimulate and expand the Memphis economy, to spotlight Memphis trailblazers, and to improve and strengthen downtown neighborhoods. In a nutshell, it is an economic development driver focused on cultural tourism to revitalize the local neighborhood. In 2015, Memphis received a $30 million federal Choice Neighborhood implementation grant from the HUD to redevelop a larger area, in which this neighborhood resides.
The footprint for Memphis Heritage Trail is the nexus of historical African-American culture. The boundaries are North-Beale Street, South- Crump Blvd., East-Walnut Street and West-Main Street. MHT serves to bring greater awareness and connection to various historical, educational, and cultural anchors within the community (such as Beale Street, Church Park, Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, National Civil Rights Museum, Clayborne Temple, and the Universal Life Building), and to tell the stories of the historic figures and courageous leaders whose stories continue to captivate us. The MHT project focuses on communicating these captivating stories through new cultural and economically sustainable platforms.
What are the goals of the project?
• To develop stronger cultural and heritage tourism as a mechanism for economic development
• To promote and celebrate the cultural assets and contributions of people in the targeted community through visual and physical reminders of the history
• To provide a better quality of life and more opportunities for residents
• To create a positive sense of place in safe and vibrant neighborhoods
What is the benefit?
Just allocating for the tourism part, MHT could be worth as much as $265M in economic impact once it is completed. It will also raise the profile of our city’s rich history, while vastly improving the residential and commercial opportunities available to people currently living in these areas.
How will it be implemented?
MHT already has a three-phase plan that has been presented to the city and key stakeholders. A timeline for implementation of that plan is coming soon.