The Memphis Pyramid is the most dominating feature of the northern city skyline. Memphis’s  affiliation with all things Egypt began with its name, and continued in 1897, when a large-scale replica of a pyramid was built to represent Memphis at the Tennessee Centennial Exhibition in Nashville . Pyramids were popular symbols on Memphis paraphernalia for many years.
The first serious proposal for a life-size pyramid to be built in Memphis  was written in the 1970s, but the idea did not take off until the 1980s, when the city and county governments agreed to fund it. Denver developer Sidney Shlenker promoted the plan, and promised restaurants, tourist attractions, and lots of revenue for the city.
The pyramid was built and opened in 1991, minus the money-making engines that Shlenker promised. Today, the $63 million Great American Pyramid sits empty, but the city is trying to attract a big-box store to turn it into a retail center.