Designed by Architect James Gamble Rogers and dedicated on January 1, 1910, the Shelby County Courthouse is the largest and most ornate in Tennessee. Quarterly Court Chairman James Hill Barret led the movement for the imposing structure with modern amenities. Upon approval of the project and issuance of $1,000,000 in bonds (later supplemented by an additional $500,000), he appointed N.C. Perkins to head the construction committee. Until 1966 this neo~classical building of the blue Bedford limestone housed the executive and
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legislative chambers of Memphis and Shelby County governments, as well as state and local courts. Beginning in 1984 and utilizing taxes paid only by litigants. County Commissioner Charles Perkins directed an extensive, 8-year renovation that resulted in refurbished courtrooms and offices for Circuit, Probate, and Chancery Courts and the Civil Division of General Sessions Court. Many find details were preserved and augmented, including mahogany doors and paneling, brass doorknob, embossed with the County seal, and walls pilasters, and flooring comprised of seven varieties of marble.