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Landmark and Legend
Memphis, TN
Here we note legends-in-their-own-time and landmarks as they transition into history


 
T. H. Hayes & Sons Funeral Home
1900 - 2011
 
The building from which the oldest African-American-owned business in Memphis operated has been demolished.

The structure at 680 Lauderdale Street had been T.H. Hayes and Sons funeral home, founded in 1902 relocated to the Lauderdale address in 1918. The family matriarch, Frances Hayes, age 103, died in November 21, 2010.

The property has been owned for the past few years by the adjacent First Baptist Church Lauderdale. A spokesperson for the church said it would have liked to have renovate the old building but the cost was prohibitive for the small congregation. Instead, the funeral home structure has been demolished and the church plans to build a family life center at that spot.

Despite the possible need for renovation for another use, an antique dealer who purchased some of the building's facade says it was in good shape.

The Executive Director of Memphis Heritage, Inc. says sometimes grants and loans are available to building owners for restoration and is quoted in The Commercial Appeal as saying, ""I wish people would reach out to us before taking action."