What does it mean to live in a historic neighborhood?

In 1992, Central Gardens was designated as a "Historic Conservation District" by the Memphis City Council. Because of this designation and the neighbors' commitment to conservation, Central Gardens is considered a premier historic neighborhood in the Mid-South. Property values are always enhanced by historic conservation status. Historic districts offer a mechanism for protecting the historic nature of older, residential neighborhoods, while also allowing for renovations and additions to our homes. 

Thinking of restoring or renovating your home?

Living in an historic neighborhood such as Central Gardens brings special responsibilities as well as rewards. Central Gardens has Architectural Design Guidelines that have been approved by the Memphis Landmarks Commission. The guidelines represent zoning policies adopted by the City of Memphis as a means to protect the unique architectural character of the neighborhood. They provide a guide for decisions concerning new construction and renovations that affect the appearance of individual properties as well as the overall character of the neighborhood. 

The CGA Landmarks Committee is here to help!

The committee consists of designers, architects and city planners, all volunteers who can help you get started with your renovation or restoration. The committee will help you establish an appropriate direction for the design and avoid planning efforts that later may prove inappropriate and costly when submitting your application to the Memphis Landmarks Commission.

Below is an easy 4-step process to help you navigate through the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process for your renovation or restoration. When you are considering a renovation, restoration and/or application for a Certificate of Appropriateness:

1) Read and understand the Architectural Guidelines: Download and read a copy of the Architectural Design Guidelines.

 2) Review with your architect or designer: You and your architect/designer/contractor meet informally with CGA Landmarks Committee to review concept or preliminary design as early in the design process as possible. This will allow all parties to have a clear understanding of the project scope and the applicable guidelines, and for any changes or suggestions to be timefully incorporated into the final design prior to formal review.

 3) Complete the application for COA with CGA Landmarks Committee: The CGA Landmarks Committee can assist the applicant with the application to assure it is completed properly and has a good chance for approval by the Memphis Landmarks Commission.

4) Submit the COA to the office of the Memphis Landmarks Commission


To reach the current chair of the CGA Landmarks Committee, email Shelly Rainwater.


Below are some easy to read guidelines on common issues: