Memphis built its first grand train station in 1855 here at the corner of GE Patterson (then called Calhoun) and Main Streets.
The Calhoun Station was the first depot in Memphis was constructed here by the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad around 1855. A more ornate, two-story station opened in 1888 by the Illinois Central Line. The Calhoun Station was demolished in 1912-13 to make room for the new Central Station.
Built in 1913, Central Station was the last building designed by the famous architect Daniel Burnham, who was also the architect behind Chicago's 1895 Columbian Exposition.
Central Station commanded the railroad transportation era for nearly 50 years. By 1935, this depot coordinated the arrival and departure of more than 50 trains a day, helping make Memphis one of the busiest inland railroad transportation centers in the country. It was here that Elvis returned to Memphis after his army stint in Germany.
With railroad traffic in decline in the 1960's, passenger traffic trailed off at Central Station, causing surrounding restaurants, shops, and hotels closed. With AMTRAK left as it's only use, Central Station fell into disrepair.
In 1999, the Memphis Area Transit Authority opened the renovated facility as apartments and event space. The Memphis Farmers Market uses the outdoor pavilion for its Saturday market.