Universal Life Building

The Universal Life Insur­ance Company Building is an Egyp­tian Revival structure designed and built in 1949 by Tennessee’s first African-American architectural firm McKissack & McKis­sack. The building housed the Universal Life Insurance Company (ULICO) founded by Dr. Joseph E. Walker, J.T. Wilson, M.W. Bonner, Dr. R.S. Fields and A.W. Willis in 1923. The Company’s mission was to build a service institution that would bring jobs and financial assistance to the African-American community during a period when segregation limited access to the mainstream busi­ness sector. The ULICO was remarkably successful in its mission and became the second African-American insurance company to attain million-dollar status and the fourth largest African-American owned business in the U. S. The Company served as a catalyst for social equality and economic prosperity for African-Americans nationwide.

The facility is located along the proposed Memphis Heritage Trail and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Latitude: 35.137063 Longitude: -90.045843 Elevation: 256 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jimmie Tucker

Time Period Represented

Egyptian Revival

Accessibility Notes

The facility is owned and being developed by a local architecture, planning, and interior design firm.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed at this moment.

Leave a Comment