Hotel Chisca Faces Possible Demolition

A development partnership - Area Hotels LLC - has submitted a set of plans to Memphis and Shelby County planners showing a four-story Hilton Garden Inn being built at the southwest corner of Second Street and Linden Avenue. The eight-story-tall Chisca sits to the east of that land at 272 South Main St. in Memphis. The Chisca hotel once was the host of the "Red Hot and Blue" radio program on WHBQ wound-up voice of deejay Dewey Phillips howling through the speakers, playing the first Elvis record, "That's All Right Mama", on the air in July 1954. Phillips gave the record a test spin a few days after Elvis recorded it at Sun Studio and ended up playing it several times back-to-back on his show that night. Phillips, still remembered by some Memphians by his nickname as "Daddy-O-Dewey," also conducted Elvis' first radio interview on his show at the hotel. The Chisca is the place where it all happened, where the frenetic deejay spun rock and blues records and uttered catch phrases - still famous today - like: "Get yourself a wheelbarrow load of mad hogs, run 'em through the front door, and tell 'em Phillips sent ya." If newly filed real estate development plans are to be believed, the recording may soon be one of the few remaining mementos of the historic hotel, which was built in 1913 and once served as the headquarters of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
Source: Elvis Unlimited / Updated: Jun 20, 2006 
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Crawfish (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 22, 2006report abuse
I agree with June on this one. Sadly friends in Memphis all seem to say that Memphis Council realise it was a mistake only once a building has been torn down. Please think about this one!! I realise you can't keep everything, but Beale Street is so charming not just for the folks and the music but for the old buildings; can't the City Council see that!
Teacher (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 21, 2006report abuse
Restoring and preserving these buildings from the past takes a lot of money. It's unfortunate but most cities are like Memphis. They have to put the current issues of citizens ahead of historical preservation. Finding foundations who are interested in taking on these projects is another alternative.
June (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 20, 2006report abuse
This is awful news. I just love that building and was so pleased when the COGIC group purchased it. I felt it was going to be 'saved' pun intended. On the heels of the Old Baptist Hospital demolition, the uncertainty of the future of the Mid-South Coliseum and the possible sale of the Zippin-Pippin...I find this is...too much. Please, Memphis, save our Elvis history. Elvis put this great town on the map and these important pieces of history need to be cherished, not destroyed.

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