Self+Tucker Architects

Three STA projects selected as Building Memphis Awards Finalists

January 29 2024

We are excited to share that three of our client’s projects have been selected as finalists in the Memphis Business Journal 2024 Building Memphis Awards!
Read more about the projects here.

For Memphis’ Self +Tucker Architects, historic preservation is vital. Here’s Why.

November 21 2023

“For me, it’s not just preserving a building or site, It’s about preserving culture.”

Mayor Strickland highlights the Historic Melrose School Revitalization

September 15 2023

The City of Memphis issued $200 million in bonds to facilitate catalytic community projects in three focus areas all across our city. Just to call out a few —an update on Historic Melrose.

Memphis Innovation Corridor Slated To Begin Construction In Fall 2023

June 28 2023

The Memphis Innovation Corridor will significantly increase fast and reliable public transportation for the citizens of Memphis.
31 stations designed by Self+Tucker Architects will increase transit connectivity and enhance the streetscapes along the new rapid transit routes.
We are proud to be a part of the team bringing this transformative transit project to life!

Memphis Lift honors ‘Cake Lady’ with Brenda Rogers Resource Center

June 01 2023

Nonprofi t organization Memphis Lift broke ground on a planned 3,200-square-footexpansion honoring North Memphis resident Brenda Rogers at the organization’s1637 Britton St. headquarters Thursday, June 1.

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis plans ‘transformative’ expansion and renovation

May 16 2023

“Architect Juan Self, who has been involved in every phase of the museum’s design since its opening in 1991, said the expanded exhibit space and enhanced “civic plaza” aspect of its redesigned park would maintain the museum’s status as “a place for truth-telling… no matter how uncomfortable,” ”

Grocery Project Targets Food Desert In North Memphis

May 12 2023

A project to bring a grocery and resource center to residents in North Memphis is underway. The project would be both a retail and a community resource endeavor.

National Civil Rights Museum is expanding its legacy — Legacy Building, that is

April 04 2023

The National Civil Rights Museum will break ground May 16 on the expansion of the museum’s Legacy Building.
The project will be completed by Self Tucker Architects, Howard Revis Design and Flintco Construction.

Jackson glass studio restores historic Memphis church at center of civil rights movement

February 20 2023

Century-old Clayborn Temple church in Memphis is getting a much-needed glass restoration after years of neglect. A significant spot in the 1960s civil rights movement, Clayborn Temple is now being reconstructed into a community center. And it’s being renovated with the help of a Jackson company.

Three exceptional projects from Black architects

February 07 2023

Though Black architects currently represent a small portion of the profession, their work impacts communities across the country. During Black History Month, AIA is showcasing projects by Black architects around the U.S. to celebrate their exceptional work.

STA 2022 - 2023 Community Impact and Aspirations

December 13 2022

The past few years have reinforced the fact that we are a resilient team – and it takes
all of us working together to effectively drive positive change. We can not only
successfully execute the projects with which we are entrusted but also expand our
impact in the communities we serve. Consequently, this is a good time to update you on
what we have accomplished this year and let you know our aspirations for 2023.

COGIC unveils 20 new affordable housing units, a symbol of its return

November 09 2022

“The city of Memphis needs more affordable housing, but we want quality, affordable housing. We
don’t want to treat people like they are second-class citizens,”

Building Together: Self+Tucker Architects Move the Restoration of Clayborn Temple Forward

June 01 2022

Building Together: Self + Tucker Architects Continue to Move the Restoration of Clayborn Temple Forward

Exhibition Celebrating the African American Fellows of the AIA

June 05 2022

There are approximately 2,455 licensed African American architects in the United States, a number that represents only 2 percent of the population of the country’s licensed architects. According to NCARB there are 116,242 architects in the United States. Of the 94,000 AIA members, less than 3% are elevated to the College of Fellows. In 2021, of the approximately 2,820 Fellows 140 are African American in the organizations 165 year history.

Memphis architecture is making a dynamic comeback

March 28 2022

Our architectural love letter from Memphis explores the American South city’s dynamic built environment scene.

Melrose School to be “reimagined and repurposed”

March 05 2021

The Daily Memphian highlights the efforts of Architect / Developer Self + Tucker Architects to revitalize the Historic Melrose School building.

Serving the Community: A Q&A on the Universal Life Insurance Company Building

August 10 2021

The Universal Life Insurance Company Building in Memphis, Tennessee, is an architecturally unique site with a long tradition of community empowerment. Once home to the largest Black-owned business in Memphis, the building continues this legacy as an economic development resource for its diverse community.
The following Q&A is with Jimmie Tucker—who along with Juan Self is a founding principles of Self + Tucker Architects—is one of three in a series of Q&A-style blog posts with the 2020 Driehaus Award recipients.

Clayborn Temple stained glass could capture historic events

February 11 2021

The Historic Clayborn Temple project is progressing, and efforts to re-imagine the damaged stained glass windows may feature iconic images from the 1968 Sanitation Workers strike. Take a look at this Daily Memphian article to learn more and see potential images!

NTHP National Treasure Profiles: Clayborn Temple

November 18 2020

Check out this incredible profile on the historic Clayborn Temple by the National Trust for Historic Preservation!
We are honored and proud that STA is the Architect for the current phases of the Restoration and Revitalization of this historic and iconic Building!

Community Spirit: The Winners of the 2020 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award

October 28 2020

The Universal Life Insurance Company building, located on the edge of downtown Memphis, is at once a symbol of progress against adversity, a showpiece designed to celebrate Black history, and an engine for future economic and cultural progress. It’s also a testament to the patience, persistence, and innovation of architects Juan Self and Jimmie Tucker, who purchased the deteriorating building in 2006. They spent more than a decade putting together the financing to renovate it for a new life, which began in earnest after its grand reopening in 2019.

Universal Life Building honored with national preservation award

October 29 2020

The Universal Life Insurance Co. building in Memphis is one of three 2020 winners of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards.

The honor was announced Wednesday, Oct. 28 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The building at 480 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., was designed in 1947 by Nashville-based African American architecture firm McKissack & McKissack and once housed one of the largest Black-owned insurance companies in the nation.

Memphis 3.0 wins Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

April 27 2020

Memphis 3.0 was selected by American Planning Association as this year’s Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan. This is considered the highest honor given for a comprehensive plan each year and certainly a testament to the high level of community engagement and the outstanding work of the City of Memphis Office of Comprehensive Planning, its community partners and consultants.  Self + Tucker Architects is honored and proud to have been a member of the consultant team.”

South Memphis apartment rehab provides new start for homeless

December 17 2019

The Universal Life Insurance Company, a staunch advocate for economic justice and business development, gifted this building to Case Management Inc. in the 1990’s. Today it is transitional housing for homeless families.

The Daily Memphian - Memphis REDi graduates inaugural class of women, minority developers

December 16 2019

The inaugural REDi class graduates gathered Monday, Dec. 16, to present their development proposal for a Binghampton site.

Memphis Business Journal - New initiative Looks to diversify pool of Memphis developers

December 17 2019

The Urban Land Institute, in partnership with the Downtown Memphis Commission as well as City and County government, are working together to increase the number of MWBE Developers in the city of Memphis through a new program.

AIA Film Challenge Judges Share Their Advice

July 29 2019

Architects and Filmmakers share their insight into Architecture, filmmaking and the intersection of both practices as they relate to the AIA Film Challenge. STA Principal Jimmie Tucker, FAIA is serving as a judge for the 2019 AIA Film Challenge.

The Universal Life Building: Designing a Better Memphis

June 01 2019

The Universal Life Insurance Building, owned by Self Tucker Properties, LLC and renovated by Self + Tucker Architects, has been featured by Storyboard Newspaper. Click now to read about the history of the iconic building and the amazing community of entrepreneurs and creatives within the revitalized space.

Jimmie Tucker elected into esteemed group of architects

February 27 2019

Architect Jimmie Tucker of the Self+Tucker Architects firm has been named a fellow by the American Institute of Architects. Only 3 percent of AIA’s 90,000 members of the College of Fellows can write as credentials after their names not just the “AIA,” but “FAIA.”

10 to Watch: Who’s on the Move in 2019

December 28 2018

No one can predict the future, but you can look to the companies on the move to see what’s next. For Memphis companies, 2019 promises to be a big year as a strong national economy and a growing small business scene continue to propel the business outlook in Memphis forward.

The little campus that could: Community and context in Memphis

September 24 2018

It is no secret that the profession of architecture has a way to go to reflect the gender, ethnic, and racial composition of the United States, circa 2018. The percentage of African American licensed architects has remained woefully low at almost 2 percent, whereas the most recent census counts African Americans at 12 percent of the population.

Pioneering Architect Fêted

June 01 2018

Jimmie E. Tucker ’73 was honored with the Francis Gassner Award in April during the American Institute of Architects Memphis 65th Anniversary Gala at Ballet Memphis. Tucker is the first African-American to receive the prestigious award, presented annually to a Memphis architect for his or her contributions to the profession and the community.

Bridges to Everywhere

May 31 2018

The Harahan Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee, opened in 1916. Down its center ran railroad tracks. Cantilevered off each side was a 14-foot-wide “wagonway” for cars, trucks, horse carts, and pedestrians.

Building Heritage: Mixing the city’s hidden history with new growth

April 27 2018

The basement of the Universal Life Insurance building, a Memphis landmark at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, is still defined by the intersection of overhead ventilation shafts and pipes.

This place in history: Ten Downtown buildings with stories to tell

April 18 2018

Memphis exhibits an architectural landscape as varied as its people. These buildings can reveal a storied past and their redevelopment into new uses can speak to the city’s future. 

Tucker is first black architect to receive the Gassner Award

April 09 2018

Jimmie E. Tucker will be the first African-American to receive a prestigious award given yearly to a Memphis architect for his or her contributions to the profession and the community.

Editorial: Universal Life a Blueprint For Building Black Wealth

April 07 2018

While many of us were thinking about and remembering the turbulent events of 1968, this week brought another significant nod to the past with a commitment to the future.

Universal Life Insurance Building Reopens With New Hope for Black Economic Growth

April 05 2018

There is still some build-out to be done on the Universal Life Insurance building at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. But Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and other dignitaries cut the ribbon Tuesday, April 3, on the formal reopening on the 1920s Egyptian-themed landmark in black business enterprise.

Heritage Trail Loops Open Amidst MLK50 Preparations

April 02 2018

As city crews were moving the Mountaintop sculpture into place at the new MLK Reflection Park and the nearby I Am A Man Plaza was getting one last patch of cement Friday, March 30, a tour bus came through as preparations were being made for the city’s MLK50 observances.

FedEx requests variance for solar array at Memphis hub

March 29 2018

An application was submitted to the Memphis & Shelby County Board of Adjustment to allow for a variance on part of FedEx Corp.’s Memphis hub modernization. According to the form, FedEx wants to put a solar canopy above an existing parking lot at 2955 Republican Drive.

Renovation gives Universal Life building second chance to uplift community

March 21 2018

A beacon of black business from segregation through the civil rights era, Memphis’ iconic Universal Life Insurance building is ready to shine again.

Owners and architects Juan Self and Jimmie Tucker are closing in on completion of a $6.2 million renovation intended to create a showcase of history and sustainability and a collection of resources dedicated to growing disadvantaged businesses.

Downtown Universal Life development prepares for tenants

March 19 2018

Jimmie Tucker and Juan Self of Self Tucker Architects bought the building in 2006 and have been working on its redevelopment ever since. They say, though, that they have no regrets.

New day dawns for historic Universal Life building in Downtown Memphis

February 28 2018

When the oppressive grip of Jim Crow imposed racial prejudice and societal exclusion upon millions of African-Americans across the South, the traditions of collectivism and a deep sense of community created “a way up for blacks.”

First look: Airport to bid out new facility construction in January

December 14 2017

Come early January, Memphis International Airport will bid out a $35 million construction project.

Former Downtown fire station to ignite musical creativity

July 25 2017

Downtown’s historic former Memphis Fire Station No. 2, which dates back to early 1900s when firefighters still used horse-drawn carriages, will see new life soon, as renovation work is underway for the building’s new tenant, the Memphis Music Initiative nonprofit.

Teach for America makes move to Crosstown Concourse

July 18 2017

Teach for America has completed its relocation to the fourth floor of the new Crosstown Concourse mixed-use redevelopment project, moving from its previous home at the Toyota Center Downtown.

Former firehouse near FedExForum finally filled

July 17 2017

The historic firehouse at the corner of B.B. King and Martin Luther King boulevards, next to the FedExForum Downtown, will soon be occupied for the first time since it was home to a pop-up bar in 2015. Memphis Music Initiative (MMI), the diversity-focused music nonprofit, will occupy the building’s 10,000 square feet starting in January.

$5 million in building permits filed for affordable housing project Downtown

June 28 2017

Over the past week, about $5 million in building permits were filed for a new affordable housing development near Ghost River Brewing Co. on the southern edge of Downtown.

Designing with a Mission in Memphis

June 15 2017

This is an exciting time for cities. Innovative leaders, policies, and strategies are driving progress in metropolitan areas and regions across the world. Memphis is no exception, and I am glad to be engaged in projects that are creating a positive impact on our communities and helping local residents reimagine a vibrant city.

Memphis Wins Big in the Solar in Your Community Challenge

May 08 2017

Memphis Heritage Solar Uprising is one of the local teams moving forward in the Solar in Your Community Challenge. Five Memphis teams are moving forward to the next phase of the SunShot Prize: Solar In Your Community Challenge, a Department of Energy initiative aimed at increasing opportunities and access to solar resources in lower‐income communities.

Sweet’ cafe has letter of intent for Universal Life building

February 16 2017

A former Next Food Network Star finalist is bringing her cuisine Downtown.

Aryen Moore-Alston, owner and executive chef of Sweet Potato Baby, is planning to open a Downtown cafe as part of the $6.2 million renovation of the historic Universal Life Insurance Co. building.

“We filled out a letter of intent to lease the space,” Moore-Alston said. “We’re waiting on final kitchen design to make sure everything we want can be accommodated in that space.”

To see rendering of the cafe and other photos, check out the slideshow.

Sweet Potato Baby, a catering and baked goods company, is looking to lease about 1,849 square feet in the building’s basement, with seating for about 70 to 90 people.

Universal Life project gets loan extension

February 15 2017

The Center City Development Corporation (CCDC) approved a request from Self Tucker Properties LLC to extend the development loan closing date for the former Universal Life Building.

The deadline will be extended until June 30, and the company will have 18 months afterwards to complete the redevelopment of the historical building at 480 and 504 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The development loan is for $300,000.

Universal Life redevelopment gets PILOT extension

February 14 2017

Nearly two years after officially breaking ground, Self Tucker Architects are expected to close on financing for the redevelopment of the historic Universal Life building.

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. (CCRFC) board today approved an extension of a nine-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) originally granted to Self Tucker Properties LLC in April 2015.

The original closing deadline has lapsed; the developers now have until June 30 to finalize funding.

Airport renovates hangars in advance of new facility construction

January 18 2017

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) is renovating a series of warehouses on Hangar Road for a temporary airfield maintenance operation.

Wednesday, Jan. 11, Memphis-based ANF Architects filed $1.4 million in building permits to renovate four existing warehouses on Hangar Road, located off of Swinnea Road on the east side of the airport property.

Construction: $80 million building permit for Methodist

January 17 2017

In October, the hospital broke ground on a 440,000-square-foot, $280 million tower — and now an $80 million permit for the facility has been submitted.

The permit for “interior build-out” was filed Jan. 13 for the 1265 Union Ave. location. Turner Construction and Juan Self of Self Tucker Architects were listed as the contractor and architects on the permit and Mike Sheridan as the engineer.

Cover Story Some minority spend disparities rooted in capacity

January 13 2017

When Methodist University Hospital broke ground on its new, $280 million tower in October, it did so within the shadow of a $14 million, 700-space parking garage also being built on the campus.

The construction represents a new phase for the hospital, but it also represents two large projects for Self Tucker Architects, a 20-year-old minority-owned firm.

Construction: Methodist, ARS and Central Station

August 05 2016

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is in the midst of a $280 million modernization project at Methodist University Hospital. The centerpiece of the efforts are a new, nine-story tower.

A permit valued at $595,000 was pulled Thursday, Aug. 4, for site development and a foundation for the new tower. The contractor is Turner Construction Co., the architect is listed as Juan Self of Self Tucker Architects, and the engineer is Mike Sheridan, principal and structural engineer with Allen & Hoshall Inc.

Methodist Makes ‘Great Commitment’ to Memphis With Expansion

March 23 2016

Methodist University Hospital CEO Jeff Liebman sees the $275 million that Methodist Healthcare is investing into the system’s flagship hospital as a “great commitment” to Memphis.

“Planning for this been going on for a year,” Liebman told The Daily News, as the expansive project Methodist announced in December for his campus – including the teardown of a physician parking facility to make room for a new parking garage – is now well under way.

Universal Life Insurance Company Building set for Redevelopment

November 05 2015

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in September for the redevelopment of the Universal Life Insurance Company Building, an Egyptian Revival structure designed and built in 1949 by Tennessee’s first African-American architectural firm McKissack & McKissack.  The facility, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is owned and being developed by Juan Self (current TPT Board Member) and Jimmie Tucker of Self + Tucker Architects. The building housed the Universal Life Insurance Company (ULICO) founded by Dr. Joseph E. Walker, J.T. Wilson, M.W. Bonner, Dr. R.S. Fields and A.W. Willis in 1923.  The Company’s mission was to build a service institution that would bring jobs and financial assistance to the African-American community during a period when segregation limited access to the mainstream business sector.  The ULICO was remarkably successful in its mission and became the second African-American insurance company to attain million-dollar status and the fourth largest African-American owned business in the U. S.  The Company served as a catalyst for social equality and economic prosperity for African-Americans nationwide. 

Delta Regional Authority announces 52 community leaders

October 23 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jimmie Tucker of Memphis will participate in the Delta Regional Authority’s eleventh class of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. Tucker, managing principal for Self + Tucker Architects, will join other DLI fellows from each of the eight Delta region states. Participants are nominated by their respective governors to participate in the year-long leadership training program.

“Our communities and region need strong local leadership to continue to grow and thrive. This is why DRA has made investing in our leaders a priority,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. “I’m very proud of this class and what they have already accomplished in their own communities. DLI will only further prepare them to continue to lead.”

Construction permit pulled for Universal Life building

September 24 2015

The planned $6.2 million redevelopment of the historic Universal Life Building took another step this week with the request for a construction permit valued at $500,000.

The permit describes the work as the repair and alteration to 30,000 square feet of office space for commercial use and development.

Tennessee Housing Agency Adopts Green-Building Standards

September 23 2015

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency wants to build healthy communities from the ground up.
Under new guidelines to be incorporated later this year, affordable housing developers seeking Low-Income Housing Tax Credits will have to qualify for full certification from Enterprise Green Communities. The certification was first introduced nationally in 2004, and the THDA board recently approved incorporation of the revamped 2015 criteria.

Universal Life building renovation ready to begin after decade-long journey

September 18 2015

Nearly a decade after the first renovation attempt, Self Tucker Architects will officially break ground for the renovation of the historic Universal Life building this month.

Self Tucker Properties LLC, owned by Jimmie Tucker and Juan Self of Self Tucker Architects, acquired the building in 2006 with plans for renovation, receiving a PILOT and development loan at the time. But, the project was put on hold due to the economic recession.

Ceremony scheduled for Universal Life renovation

September 15 2015

Officials have scheduled a ceremony Sept. 29 to mark the start of renovation on the historic Universal Life Building near Downtown Memphis.

The vacant 66-year-old building will be repurposed to house Self-Tucker Properties LLC and agencies that work with black and minority entrepreneurs.

Memphis city officials have committed more than $1 million in grants and steered nearly $2 million in bonds for energy-efficiency improvements to the $6.2 million renovation planned by architects Juan Self and Jimmie Tucker. The event is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. Sept. 29 in the building at 480 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

Clean energy is on the rise, providing good jobs in Memphis and across Tennessee

September 10 2015

Clean energy is revitalizing communities and improving lives across our state, and Memphis is no exception. Clean energy jobs – which include trades such as installation of solar panels and energy efficient windows and HVAC equipment, in addition to manufacturing, accounting, management and more – represent not only a promising way to reduce unemployment, but also a path out of poverty for lower-wage earners looking to make a change for the better.

According to research by Environmental Entrepreneurs, clean energy jobs across the country provide wages that are 13 percent higher than the median U.S. wage. By adding higher-paying jobs, the clean energy industry is helping to improve our local economy, which benefits all Memphians.

SelfTucker Designs Green Center at T.O. Fuller

June 20 2015

T.O. Fuller State Park in Southwest Memphis was the first state park opened for African Americans east of the Mississippi River and just the second park of its type across the country.
The 1,138 acre park, originally built to house African Americans during the Great Depression, was designated Shelby County Negro Park in 1938. The name was changed to T.O. Fuller State Park in 1942 in honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller, a prominent African American educator who spent most of his life empowering and educating black Americans during the era of racial segregation by law.

Memphis International Airport Ground Transportation Center, Tennessee

June 02 2015

The Retrofit
Pedestrians are the beneficiaries of the airport’s convenient plaza between the terminal and the new Consolidated Ground Transportation Center. Portions of an existing short/long-term parking structure were removed to create an attractive, canopy-covered atrium with moving walkways, water features, landscaped areas and outdoor speakers that broadcast music from local artists. Its electrical and mechanical systems are controlled from the airport’s central control system.

Universal Appeal

May 07 2015

Paige Marcantel, a licensed clinical social worker, served as a grief counselor for Baptist Memorial Hospital for several years before becoming a stay-at-home mom two years ago.

But when the opportunity to help local families dealing with child rearing issues and trauma arose – everything from disrespectful behavior to more serious issues like divorce, addiction and domestic violence – Marcantel couldn’t turn it down.


April 19 2015

Universal Life Insurance Co. was a business incubator, proving ground for young executives and source of middle-class jobs for black Memphians when segregation barred most doors to opportunity. When the company’s headquarters went vacant in 2001,many feared the imposing Egyptian Revival building at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue wouldn’t survive as a symbol of African- American hope and pride. 

Universal Life building’s beacon to shine in Memphis again

April 17 2015

Universal Life Insurance Co. was a business incubator, proving ground for young executives and source of middle class jobs for black Memphians when segregation barred most doors to opportunity.

When the company’s headquarters went vacant in 2001, many feared the imposing Egyptian Revival building at Danny Thomas and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard wouldn’t survive as a symbol of African-American hope and pride.

Universal Life PILOT approved, city leasing space

April 14 2015

Developers were approved for two financial incentives at Tuesday’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. meeting for the redevelopment of the historic Universal Life Insurance Co. building Downtown, and a City of Memphis resource center was revealed as a tenant.
Self Tucker Properties LLC was approved for a nine-year payment-in-lieu-of-tax incentive for its $6.2 million renovation to turn the Universal Life building into mixed-use office space. The PILOT can be extended to up to 13 years with the addition of public art, architecturally enhanced lighting and LEED certification.

Universal Life building to become mixed-use office, commercial space

April 08 2015

Plans to transform one of the city’s most prominent black business landmarks have been submitted to the Downtown Memphis Commission.
Jimmie Tucker and Juan Self of Self Tucker Architects are planning to redevelop the Universal Life Insurance Co. building at the corner of Danny Thomas Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue into a mixed-use office and commercial space. Tucker and Self acquired the building in 2006.

Building Memphis: Best public / private project (small)

February 20 2015

From innovative conversion and renovation projects to the construction of large new facilities from the ground up, construction is a driving force in the Greater Memphis economy.
Memphis Business Journal is proud to highlight the best projects annually, and the finalists for this year’s Building Memphis Awards are very impressive.

Below are the finalists for the Best Public / Private Project small category
This program seeks to recognize all of the professionals who collaborate to make these projects successful.

Black History Month Energy Champions

February 10 2015

In honor of Black History Month - SACE is publishing a blog series highlighting the efforts of African American leaders working to ensure that clean energy opportunities are available for all people and communities in the Southeast. This post is the second in a series; find additional posts here.
As one of the founding principals of a successful architectural firm in Memphis, Tennessee, Jimmie Tucker has made it his mission to improve the buildings and lives of Memphians.  Self + Tucker Architects (STA) is celebrating twenty years in business this year and STA has created many well designed and energy efficient buildings throughout the Mid-South since 1995.

NOMA: For the LOVE of it

October 29 2014

Mayor Michael Nutter welcomed architects from around the nation to Philadelphia for the 42nd Annual National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) International Conference and Exhibition held 10.02-04.14. William Stanley, FAIA, chancellor of the AIA College of Fellows, and 2016 AIA President-elect Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, participanted in the conference at the historic 1932 PSFS Building, designed by William Lescaze and George Howe, now restored and known as Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The conference theme was “For the LOVE of it,” appropriate for the City of Brotherly Love.

In The Spotlight Virgil Deanes

August 22 2014

My name is Virgil Deanes III, and I’m a 5th year student in Hampton University’s 5 ½-year 1st professional Masters of Architecture program. As a student of architecture, uncertain of the expectations of a professional in the field, I found myself ‘going through the motions’, comprehending the learned material and then performing to the professor’s standards to achieve the highest mark possible. However, it wasn’t until I was able to practice in a professional environment when I could thoroughly understand how those tools are to be applied.

In The Spotlight Charity White

August 15 2014

Big to small scale, STA always has a variety of projects simultaneously progressing at once. Characterizing the smaller scale projects, Bright Ideas Enrichment Center consisted of two sheets. The demo plan was drawn from site sketches and the rated partition detail sheet required research for the necessary detailing information. Broadening the scale of projects, Leila Mason was centered on solving site issues. Conversations with local engineers, we had to create a site that solved major issues like drainage and vehicular circulation. Riverside Missionary Baptist Church, the grandeur scale project, required an abundant amount of time an effort by the STA team. From creating reflected ceiling plans, interior elevation for dressing room cubicles, casements details and sections, this is not even a small taste of what is necessary in completion of a project this size.

In The Spotlight Dale Harris

August 11 2014

My summer internship at STA has been truly a rewarding learning experience. I am currently entering into my 13th week as a summer intern and with each passing week I have grown both personally and professionally. Not only is this my first
internship, but this is my first job in a professional setting. Therefore, many of the challenges and opportunities I faced were brand new to me. The lessons and practices I have learned in the past 13 weeks is something I would never have been able to learn from a textbook or a classroom.

In The Spotlight Aryn Phillips

August 11 2014

Exiting my third year of architecture school and entering fourth year is a time where work experience and real life applications of architecture is very important. This is my third summer at Self + Tucker architects and each summer is very different. To be able to see the vast differences between this summer and the summers before concerning my varying levels of skill allows me to really see the difference just one year of architecture school makes. Being an intern at STA allows me to realize in hindsight, all that I have retained especially from my third year of architecture school.


July 28 2014

MEMPHIS, TN – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced this week that the City of Memphis is one of 66 cities to receive Our Town grants totaling more than $5 million. Memphis will receive $150,000 to develop a master plan, design guidelines and public art for the proposed Memphis Heritage Trail.

“This grant is a great start on the path to making the Memphis Heritage Trail a high quality development that will draw visitors from around the world to our city to experience and enjoy our rich history and culture,” said Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. “We are grateful that the National Endowment of the Arts recognizes and supports this valuable project.”


July 28 2014

Thank you for your membership with USGBC!

We’re glad to have you as part of our leadership community that believes in the mission of bringing sustainable, healthy, resource-efficient buildings and communities to all with this generation.

New phase launches in $93M Cleaborn Homes redevelopment

July 25 2014

The $93 million public housing redevelopment of Cleaborn Homes for 362 new apartments in Downtown Memphis entered its final stretch this week.
Birmingham, Ala.-based general contractor Capstone Building Corp. pulled 22 permits – a total value of $8.1 million – to launch the final, 67-unit phase of the Hope VI project Cleaborn Pointe at Heritage Landing. The complex is a few blocks southeast of FedExForum across Lauderdale Street from Foote Homes near Vance Avenue.

Best Parking Facility Rehabilitation or Restoration

June 02 2014

Memphis International Airport Ground Transportation Center; Memphis, Tennessee
Project Team:
Owner: Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority
Project Management, Parking Consultant, and Structural
Engineer: Walker Parking Consultants, Inc.
Concept Architect: OGCB Incorporated Electrical Engineer of
Record: LRK, Inc.
Architect­of­Record: Self + Tucker Architects
Program Manager: Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
General Contractor: Walker Restoration Consultants, Inc., Restoration Engineering
Flintco, Inc.

Renovated civil rights museum reopens in Memphis

April 05 2014

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Reuters) - The National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the converted motel where Martin Luther King Jr.was assassinated, reopened on Saturday after a $27.5 million renovation, offering new interactive exhibits chronicling the civil rights movement.
The museum reopened one day after the 46th anniversary of King’s death. On April 4, 1968, the civil rights leader was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in downtown Memphis.
About 200,000 people visit the museum each year, including 50,000 to 60,000 school children.
The exhibit begins with a global perspective of the slave trade, where panels track the path and the numbers of people captured and traded, and the wealth their labor created.

National Civil Rights Museum Reopens in Memphis

April 05 2014

The main section of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn. reopens to the public on Saturday, one day after the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The civil rights leader was gunned down April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, which is now part of the museum complex.The museum has undergone a $27.5 million renovation and now includes short films, interactive displays and new exhibits, including one recreating a slave ship galley and another portraying the courtroom where legal arguments were presented that led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling in 1954.

From Slave Ship Shackles to the Mountaintop

April 01 2014

MEMPHIS — The climax of the sweeping new exhibition at the National Civil Rights Museum here is almost painfully mundane. An open container of milk and a half-drunk cup of coffee sit on a table near a 1960s television topped by rabbit-ear antennas. A peach-colored bedspread is pulled back, and the remains of a catfish lunch are nearby. Pale yellow curtains are open to the balcony outside. We are looking at Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel.

This is the room that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left for a moment on April 4, 1968, to go to the balcony. That was when James Earl Ray, an escaped convict with a heritage of hatred, aimed a rifle and took his shot.

History Has Changed

March 21 2014

The headquarters for Freedom Summer is still being set up and nearby the stage is almost ready for the March on Washington.
The almost-finished exhibit on the black power movement includes an interactive media table that is as bold as the moments and cultural history it offers.
Enough of the $27 million renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum is in place to see that it is not the museum that opened in 1991. It is more.
And the first major renovation of the institution built around the old Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 was more than adding new exhibits and sprucing up others.

Preview of renovated National Civil Rights Museum shows changes, interactivity

March 19 2014

Many of the exhibits at the newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum were still unfinished. But there was enough in place to give the more than 30 journalists who previewed the museum Wednesday an understanding of the new methods officials have found to educate visitors.
The $28-million refurbishment has created a museum that is now bright, more open and mostly interactive. The museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 reopens April 5 with a $5 admission price.

$28 million renovation of National Civil Rights Museum nearly complete

March 18 2014

Rarely is the remix as good as the original.
But the nearly $28 million renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum is much more impressive than the building that opened in 1991.
In a sneak peek Tuesday afternoon, museum spokesman Connie Dyson showed how designers skillfully merged interactive technology with the familiar favorites of repeat visitors.

A look inside the National Civil Rights Museum

February 03 2014

The $27 million expansion of the National Civil Rights Museum is nearing its final stages.

The project, which utilizes 3,500 to 4,000 square feet of previously unused space in the Lorraine Motel, was designed by Memphis-based Self Tucker Architects and Washington D.C.-based Howard+Revis. Juan Self, a principal with Self Tucker, worked on the original design when the museum opened in 1991. The renovation began in 2012.

Food Desert Oasis

July 08 2013

“Self + Tucker Architects is proud of the role that we played in creating the new South Memphis Farmers Market and adding to the revitalization of South Memphis!”

Downtown Design Guidelines Final Draft Released

July 08 2013

The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) is excited to announce that the final draft of the Downtown Memphis Design Guidelines is ready for review. The Design Review Board (DRB) will review the document at its August 7th meeting and the DMC Board of Directors will be asked to consider adopting the final draft at its August 21st meeting.

Many facets to green designed houses

July 05 2013

Passive houses may not be well suited to the Mid-South, although green technology is making it easier to achieve the same goal.

Jack Cowan, owner of an energy audit and healthy home performance business called Cowanhouse (, has built two zero-energy homes in Atwood, Tenn., that generate rather than consume energy.

They are not passive houses, which adhere to a rigorous set of standards that emerged from development in Europe and which, Cowan says, aren’t well suited to the Mid-South.

Memphis visitors welcome electronic changes to civil rights museum

June 22 2013

Construction workers in hard hats were part of the scenery at the National Civil Rights Museum last week while circular saws buzzed in the background and a recording of Mahalia Jackson’s “Precious Lord” played for visitors climbing the stairs to the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel.

The main building of the museum is closed for renovation, but it did not deter visitors to the rest of the museum, including one new feature that seemed to have universal appeal Friday. “It’s awesome,” said Diane Bryant of Kinston, N.C., when she pushed the button of a new electronic “listening post” in the museum courtyard and watched a short video about civil rights history.

South Main Design Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

June 18 2013

The South Main Design Challenge is an initiative by the Downtown Memphis Commission to generate creative ideas for seven vacant or underutilized spaces and buildings in the South Main neighborhood.

Over the past several months, several teams have contributed ideas for short and long term solutions for seven underused spaces.  Concepts were unveiled at South Main Trolley Nights and reviewed by a panel of judges.

Self-Tucker Focused on Designs to Inspire

June 15 2013

Self-Tucker Architects wants to lift the aspirations of the community through great architecture and design.

The firm is currently involved with a variety of high-profile projects across the area, including the National Civil Rights Museum and the new ground transportation center at Memphis International Airport, and past work includes the Stax Museum, Stax Music Academy and the FedExForum.

Lean and Mean

June 15 2013

Memphis architecture industry emerging from depths of recession

Architectural firms that were thrown into a deep, dark hole following the Great Recession are finally starting to see light again.
The only worry is that the light at the end of the tunnel is another recession-driven train, threatening to again pummel the architectural community.
“I wouldn’t say that boom times are around the corner,” said Kirk Bobo of Hnedak Bobo Group Inc. “But there are good things happening out there if you know where to look.”


June 04 2013

I was born in 1954 in South Memphis. At that time, it was a solid, all-black, middle-class neighborhood of teachers, postal workers, school principals, ministers — all professional people. We lived down the street
from our elementary school, Walker Elementary, which is now the Ida B. Wells Academy. I’m the oldest; my sister is one year younger, and my brother is six years younger. My mother still lives in the same house that we grew up in. There were a lot of other children in the neighborhood, and we’d play outside with them. We shot marbles, rode bikes, and played basketball in our backyard. WDIA had a baseball league in Bellevue Park. Back then, it was OK to go around the neighborhood by yourself and play all day — something, in these times, I wouldn’t let my 15-year-old daughter do growing up.

Memphis charter school looks to expand

May 29 2013

Memphis Business Academy, a local charter school, is expanding to accommodate its growth to nearly 900 students. The school, which currently has students in grades 6-12, hopes to break ground later this summer on a 22,000-square-foot building that will hold a new gymnasium and eight new classrooms. The building should be completed by next spring and be ready for the 2014-15 school year, according to Anthony Anderson, the school’s executive director. Memphis Business Academy currently occupies more than 87,200 square feet at its Overton Crossing campus. The school had 850 students this past school year.

Bioworks creates TriMetis to manage new lab

March 29 2013

Memphis Specialized Laboratory, designed by Perkins + Will and Self + Tucker Architects, is nearing completion on site of former Baptist Hospital. The building is proposed for LEED Certification and features a green roof irrigated by recycled water and ties into the adjacent UT Campus.

Corporate dollars push Harahan Bridge project forward

May 28 2013

The business community is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to the Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector Project, more commonly known as the Harahan Bridge project.
The $30 million project, which includes improvements from Downtown Memphis to West Memphis as well as making the Harahan Bridge pedestrian-accessible, has received enough private donations to trigger federal dollars and move it forward.