HISTORICAL BEGINNINGS

Carpenter Law, PLLC is headquartered in the heart of downtown Memphis in the historically-renowned Tri-State Bank building located at Three Eight Six Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103.  Our unique building, erected in 1891, served as the original headquarters of Tri-State Bank of Memphis, and since 1971 has been listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesOur Beale Street building is filled with an abundance of rich and invaluable history, and since 1891, has served as the headquarters to a variety of Black Owned Businesses that are recognized as pioneers and trailblazers in both Memphis and United States history.  Below is a list of the historically significant businesses that have occupied our remarkable building since its erection: 

Historically Significant Businesses of 
Three Eight Six Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

CARPENTER LAW, PLLC

(successor of Charles E. Carpenter, A Professional Corporation)

(1992- PRESENT)

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Tri-State Bank of Memphis (1946-1971)

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Memphis World Newspaper (1937-1946)

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Universal Life Insurance Company (1933-1953)

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Attorney William H. Foote (After whom the Foote Homes public housing project was named) (1919-1925)

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Mississippi Beneficial Life Insurance Company (Predecessor of Universal Life Insurance Company) (1919-1925)

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Solvent Savings Bank & Trust Company (1914-1927)

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Pace & Handy Music Company (1914-1918)

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Dr. George R. Jackson (Pharmacist) (1910-1912)

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The Home Grocery Company (1891-1895)

Tri-State Bank of Memphis, in addition to being one of the first African-American owned banks in the United States, played a significant role in the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s as it pioneered various financial and community service initiatives for the African-American community.  Tri-State Bank offered real estate and church loans to African-Americans, hosted many civil rights strategy meetings for marches, sit-ins and other tactical activities, kept its vault open after business hours to provide bail money for arrested protestors, and participated in saving the Lorraine Motel from foreclosure (which is now an integral part of the National Civil Rights Museum). After Tri-State Bank relocated its headquarters in 1971, the building subsequently endured a massive fire that left the building gutted and abandoned until 1992.

 

In May 1992, the derelict building was purchased and immediately renovated by Memphis native, Attorney Charles Edward Carpenter, Sr.  He had a vision for the building and often remarked that a historic building on a world famous street is the perfect location for the unique and innovative law firm that he founded in April of 1978.  Since November 1, 1992, the law firm has occupied this historic building and it remains the principal headquarters of Carpenter Law, PLLC.

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