University of Memphis, School of Law campus

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University of Memphis
School of Law building
Former names U.S. Customs House (Memphis) & U.S. Post Office
Alternative names Customs House
General information
Architectural style neo-classical
Address 1 North Front Street
Town or city Memphis, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°08′44″N 90°03′17″W / 35.14565°N 90.05469°W / 35.14565; -90.05469
Construction started 1880
Completed 1890
Technical details
Floor count 5
Floor area 169,000 square feet (15,700 m2)
Design and construction
Architect numerous

The University of Memphis, School of Law building (also commonly known as the Customs House, Post Office, or Courthouse reflecting its prior uses) is a 5-story former federal building, located in downtown Memphis. As of 2010, the building is owned entirely by the University of Memphis and houses its law school. It is located at the corner of Front Street and Madison Avenue. It has 169,000 square feet (15,700 m2) of usable space that has been re-purposed as classrooms, offices, and administrative space. One of the original courtrooms from the building's former use as a courthouse has been restored as the University of Memphis moot courtroom.[1] The building is made of steel and concrete, and employs many decorative elements including Tennessee marble, granite, and detailed plaster work.


The building, which has an address of 1 North Front Street, Memphis, TN 38103-2189, sits just west of Court Square, Memphis. The building's location on a natural bluff overlooking the Mississippi River affords it magnificent westerly views of the river, including Mud Island, and Arkansas. Because of its location on a natural promontory, the building was not affected by the 2011 Mississippi River floods.


The building was built originally in the 1880s to house the U.S. Customs House, but it provided space for several other federal offices. Locally, it became known as the "Customs House." Over the following one hundred years, the U.S. federal building served many purposes, including as the federal courthouse, customs house, and post office.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[2][3]

Current Use[edit]

After extensive award-winning renovations,[4] in 2010 the building became home to the University of Memphis, School of Law. As such, it houses the University of Memphis Law Review offices, as well as the University of Memphis, Legal Aid Clinic.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (accessed June 18, 2011)
  2. ^ National Register Information System, NRIS No. 80003873
  3. ^ National Register of Historic Places, Record No. 384179, U.S. Post Office-Front Street Station
  4. ^ U of M Law School Restoration/Renovation Wins Top Honor from American Institute of Architects

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°08′44″N 90°03′17″W / 35.14565°N 90.05469°W / 35.14565; -90.05469