- Graceland is the 13.8-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee, that Elvis Presley once called home.
- The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll lived in the house from 1957 until his death in 1977.
- Since 1982, Graceland has operated as a museum.
It’s been 46 years since Elvis Presley died, but legions of fans still flock to Memphis, Tennessee, to see the sprawling Graceland estate the star once called home.
Per the official Graceland website, Presley lived in the mansion from 1957 until his death in 1977. Located off a highway that was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard in 1971, the two-story residence sits on 13.8 acres of land.
Since 1982, Graceland has operated as a museum dedicated to the star. Ticket packages offer access to the mansion, with prices for adults starting at $77. According to the website, it has hosted over 20 million visitors from across the globe.
The Graceland estate did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Also known as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Presley was a cultural icon of the 20th century.
Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Mississippi. Heavily influenced by the country, gospel, and blues music that he listened to as a child, Presley started his singing career in 1954.
With hits such as “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” he would go on to become one of the most successful performers of all time, with 14 Grammy nominations and millions of records sold, per the Recording Academy.
On August 16, 1977, Presley collapsed in his Graceland home and was found unconscious by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden. She documented the moment she found him on the master bathroom floor in her 2014 memoir, The Mirror reported.
According to The New York Times, coroners pronounced him dead on the same day, with the official cause of death attributed to heart failure. He was 42 years old.
Presley purchased the Graceland estate in 1957 for $102,500.
The Colonial Revival-style mansion, which was built in 1939, has eight bedrooms and four bathrooms, The Guardian reported after a tour of the house. About half of the 23 rooms in the house are off-limits to visitors, including the entire second floor — where the star’s master suite is located.
According to the Graceland website, visitors are only allowed access to common spaces, including the living room, the kitchen, and the TV room. Spanning 17,552 square feet, the sprawling residence has five sets of staircases, three fireplaces, and a kidney-shaped swimming pool.
Presley frequently had friends and family over at the mansion, including an entourage of confidants and associates the media dubbed the “Memphis Mafia.” Some members of the group were childhood friends of Presley’s, including his bodyguards Red and Sonny West.
In 2006, Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark, per the National Park Service.
One of the most iconic features of Graceland is the entrance gate. Designed to resemble a musical score, there are figures on the gate depicting the star with his guitar.
According to the museum’s website, Presley had the the gate — which cost $1,339 — installed shortly after he purchased the residence. Throngs of fans would wait by the gate in hopes of catching a glimpse of their idol. Occasionally, he would also sign autographs for them through the gate.
“Back in the day, if you were ever at the gates of Graceland and you saw the cars around the front of the mansion, that meant Elvis was home,” Angie Marchese — the Graceland archivist — told The Daily Express.
The brick wall that surrounds the estate is also popular with fans, the website states. Over the years, it has been covered in personal messages that fans have left in memory of their idol.
The interiors of Graceland are lavishly decorated. The living area has a custom-built 15-foot sofa and a 10-foot coffee table.
The sofa was originally a metallic blue, but Presley later had it reupholstered in white — which is what it still looks like today, per the Graceland website. He added the stained-glass windows in 1974 and chose to use a peacock design, which symbolizes eternal life and resurrection in ancient Christianity.
The dining room, which has black marble flooring in the center, was a place for Presley and his friends to gather.
“Elvis sat at the head of the table because it did give him one of the best views of the TV that’s over to the corner on the right,” Marchese said during a 2020 Instagram Live on the estate’s official account.
There’s also a button under the table where they could ring the kitchen if they needed more food, she added.
One of the most famous rooms in Graceland is the Jungle Room.
The room’s name only came about after the mansion opened to the public. Presley personally picked out the Polynesian-inspired furniture because it reminded him of Hawaii, which was his favorite holiday spot, per the museum’s website. He installed a waterfall and covered the room in plants to complete the look.
A shag carpet covers both the floor and the ceiling, per the website. This soundproofed the room and allowed Presley to turn the space into a makeshift recording studio. Presley recorded some of the songs on his album “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee,” here.
The pool room features fabric-lined walls and ceiling, which took 10 days to install.
Presley worked with a designer, Bill Eubanks, to come up with the room’s concept, the Graceland website states. A crew of three people was needed to cut and attach around 350 to 400 yards of cotton fabric strips onto the walls and ceiling.
Presley died upstairs in his master suite, and it has been preserved exactly as he left it.
“It looks as if he just got up and left,” Marchese said during the 2020 Instagram Live. “The record on the record player is the last record he listened to. There’s a styrofoam cup that sits on a bookshelf.”
Towards the end of his life, Presley spent much of his time holed up in his bedroom upstairs, especially if he was “in pyjamas or unshaven,” Alden told The Daily Express.
The TV room, which is designed in a navy, white, and yellow color scheme, has three television sets.
Inspired by US President Lyndon Johnson, who liked to watch three news broadcasts simultaneously, Presley also wanted three television sets in his TV room, per the official Graceland website.
Although the upper floor remains off-limits, Presley’s office desk has been brought down and turned into an exhibit for fans to see.
Presley’s record label, RCA, gave him the desk as a gift for selling one million copies of the “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack, Marchese told The Daily Express.
Presley’s gold records are on display in the Hall of Gold in the Trophy Building.
Presley constructed a new wing in the mansion in the mid-1960s to store a slot car track, as stated in Graceland’s National Historic Landmark Nomination application. Connected to the main house via a sheltered walkway, the estate subsequently renamed the new wing the “Trophy Building” and remodeled it to house his awards.
The estate updated the building in 2017 to feature an exhibit that focuses on Presley’s personal life and his family, per the Graceland website. Some items on display include his wedding outfit, family photos, and his daughter’s childhood toys.
Presley enjoyed playing racquetball. After he died, the racquetball building was transformed into an additional trophy hall for a few years.
The entire room was filled with posthumous awards and included a display of his famous jumpsuits, per the museum’s website. In 2017, the racquetball court was restored to its original condition and all the trophies were moved into a new exhibit.
Presley has been laid to rest alongside his parents on the grounds of the Graceland estate, in the Meditation Garden.
Elvis Week, which commemorates the anniversary of Presley’s death, takes place between August 9 and August 17, per the museum’s website.
Every year, fans from around the world flock to Graceland to leave flowers at his grave. The estate hosts around 500,000 visitors every year.
Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, will also be buried in Graceland, next to her late son Benjamin Keough and close to her father.
Keough died by suicide in July 2020, at 27, and was buried at Graceland.
A representative for Riley Keough, Lisa Marie’s eldest daughter, confirmed in a statement to Insider that her mother will be buried next to her son.
Elvis Presley saw a resurgence in popularity last year when the Baz Luhrmann movie, “Elvis,” starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks came out in theaters.
A press junket to promote the film was also in the screening, including a GMA interview with Tom Hanks and Austin Butler recorded in the Jungle room.
January 17, 2023: This story has been updated to reflect details of Lisa Marie Presley’s death and burial arrangement.
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