Lowenstein Building Unveiled in Downtown Memphis

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With a performance by the New Ballet Ensemble and a crowd of more than 200 people, the old Lowenstein building in the heart of downtown held a grand opening Wednesday evening.

The building, also known as the Rhodes Jennings Building, is part of Court Square Center and also includes the Lincoln American Tower and a new building called CA2, where the old Court Square Annex Building burned in 2006, sparked by embers from a fire that began at First United Methodist Church.

Built in 1886, the Lowenstein building has been vacant for almost 30 years and was nearly demolished at one point. It was saved by the efforts of Court Square Partners Willie Chandler, Yorke Lawson, and John Basek along with Memphis Heritage. The cost of the renovation was $20 million.

Court Square Center will have apartments on the upper floors and commercial on the ground floor, which opens to the Main Street Mall and trolley line. Coupled with a new Marriott Hotel under construction on the mall next to Regions Morgan Keegan Tower and the future University of Memphis Law School in the old Customs House on Front Street, it signals a brighter future for the center of downtown.

John Branston

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