LIPPMAN'S/NATHAN NOVICK'S LOAN OFFICE (BLUES HALL/PART OF RUM BOOGIE CAFE) (See: Historic Memphis) - Before 1890. Located at 174/176-178 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee. The addresses cover three separate buildings, although 176-178 Beale Street look like the same structure. Originally, 178 Beale Street was smaller in height and length from 174-176 Beale Street, but sometime after 1888 a new building was constructed to blend in with the other two. In the 1930s the store fronts were remodelled with a tile covering to enclose vent windows just above the entrances. Nathan's has the black tile.
The upper portion of the building are beautifully done. Note the circular vents, the curved brick overhangs at the window heads which are set in relief from the facade, and the decorative brick work at the cornice near the building's apex.
From around 1900 to 1916, the Lippman family ran a pawn shop at 174 Beale Street. Louis Lerner, the name imprinted on the entrance way tile, bought the business in 1917 and operated it as Lippman's Loan Office through the 1960s. He specialized in diamonds, watches, jewelry, and clothing. A variety of business occupied 176-178 Beale Street: grocers, book dealers, a liquor distributor, the Dixie Photography Studio, and from the mid-1940s through the 1960s, Nathan Loan Office.
Nathan that has been erroneously pointed out on Memphis tours for years as the place where Elvis Presley bought his first guitar. In reality Elvis bought his first guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1946. How this misconception got started is hard to say, but it hasn't hurt Nathan Novick's business.
CHISCA HOTEL (See: Historic Memphis) – Built in 1913 and located at 272 South Main Street, Memphis, across Beale Street, Sam Phillips delivered demos to key Memphis disc jockey’s: including Dewey Phillips at WHBQ radio. In 1954, the Chisca Hotel was home to radio station WHBQ and disc jockey Dewey Phillips' program "Red Hot And Blue". Phillips often played new releases from friend and business associate Sam Phillips' record label, Sun Records. On July 7, 1954, Dewey Phillips played SUN 209 over the airways, making him one of the first disc jockey’s to spin a professionally recorded Elvis Presley toward stardom. He was so impressed with Elvis Presley's sound that he played "That's All Right" and the flip side, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", repeatedly throughout his show.
The response to Elvis Presley was overwhelmingly positive. Dewey Phillips wanted Elvis Presley to come in that night for his first radio interview. Sam Phillips called the Presley's at their Alabama Street apartment, but Elvis Presley was no where to be found.
Vernon Presley hunted him down, finding him hiding at the movie theater, Suzore II at 279 North Main Street, because he was too afraid to listen to himself on WHBQ radio. That night Elvis Presley went to the Chisca Hotel where he was interviewed by Dewey Phillips. During the interview Phillips asked Elvis Presley which high school he attended.
The racial climate at the time was so tense, and Elvis' sound so different from that of other white artists, that his racial background was unclear. Elvis Presley's response of "Humes High School, sir", affirmed to listeners that he was white.
Today, the stately Chisca Hotel still stands at the southwest corner of Main Street and Linden Avenue, and used as the headquarters of a church with the name "Church Of God In Christ", and is not open to the public.
On October 2012, the property appears to be on the verge of being saved. The private group has closed on the real estate contract purchasing the Hotel Chiska. It is expected renovation activity may begin during the summer of 2013.
On August 7, 2012, the Memphis City Council voted to conditionally provide $3-million toward the restoration of Hotel Chisca. An investment group reportedly now will proceed with the purchase. Thew group still must provide/obtain private funding for the purchase and millions in restoration costs.