Lincoln American Tower
The Lincoln American Tower was built in 1924 to house the Columbian Mutual Insurance company. The structure was built as a scaled replica of New York's Woolworth Building and was one of the first steel frame skyscrapers built in Memphis. The tower's distinctive silhouette on the downtown skyline and its well-preserved white ceramic-tiled facades make the LAT one of the most recognizable historic landmarks in Memphis. Reaching a total height of 325 feet, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Backstory and Context
The building is an excellent example of Commercial Gothic architecture. The idea for the building was conceived by then president of Columbia Mutual, Lloyd T. Bingford (1866-1956), who oversaw the company's move from Atlanta in 1922. He soon became a controversial figure as chairman of the Memphis Censor Board. He had scenes of films he did not approve of removed and also barred some films, such as "King of Kings," from showing in the city. He was also a white supremacist.
Williamson, James. "Columbian Mutual Tower." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. July 24, 1978. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/a16e70e7-54b4-4ed2-8f39-317215f16160.