Clayborn Temple designated a National Treasure

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —An iconic landmark in Memphis has been named a National Treasure by an organization dedicated to preserving history across the country.

On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation said the prestigious designation means Clayborn Temple will soon receive help identifying future uses for the building as well as commemorating it’s unique role in the Civil Rights Movement.

As part of the plan, the organization hopes to build national awareness of the history surrounding Clayborn Temple — a positive for both the site and the city of Memphis.

“One of our major goals in restoring Clayborn Temple has always been to bring due attention to the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike, a chapter in American history too often overlooked and largely forgotten,” Rob Thompson, executive director of Clayborn Reborn. “Being designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation is an incredible honor, not to our restoration efforts but to the conviction and courage of the Memphis Sanitation Workers who risked everything and gave Clayborn Temple its international significance.”

There are currently 88 sites designated as National Treasures across the country, including Nashville’s Music Row and the Houston Astrodome.

Clayborn Temple was also accepted into the Sacred Places Fund, a program that offers congregations support services and capital grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.

To see all of the historic places that have been named a National Treasure, click here.