Blues Hall Breaks Ground on South Main

By Bill Dries

Organizers of the Blues Hall of Fame will break ground Friday, May 8, on a physical home for the 34-year-old institution in the South Main Historic Arts District.

Executive Director Jay Sieleman of The Blues Foundation speaks about the foundation’s $3.5 million capital campaign to add a Blues Hall of Fame at 421 S. Main St. 

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

The headquarters of the Blues Foundation at 421 S. Main St. will become the hall of fame over a 10-month construction period with the foundation offices moving to temporary quarters during that time.

The renovation of the 12,000-square-foot site is a $2.5 million project with the foundation’s capital campaign raising $2.7 million from philanthropists, foundations and other private donors toward the effort that will include blues artifacts, films and original art. The museum will include rare recordings of some of those honored.

Inductees into the hall of fame since 1980 include 83 blues singles and 76 blues albums as well as 143 performers and 51 non-performers.

The hall of fame exhibits are being designed by Design 500 with Germantown Contracting as the fabricator of the exhibits. Archimania is the architect and the general contractor is Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc.

The Memphis-based foundation has a global reach with 4,100 members and 200 affiliated local blues societies. The foundation produces the Blues Music Awards, the International Blues Challenge and the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards.