Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Sixty years ago this month, Elvis made one of his most important purchases: Graceland.

In the spring of 1957, Elvis was filming his second movie, “Loving You,” and his home address was on Audubon Drive in Memphis, Tennessee. He’d had a slew of hits on the charts, and he’d appeared on many national television shows – including, most recently, his third and final “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance.

Elvis had outgrown the nice home he enjoyed on Audubon. It was a good home, but his neighbors complained about the seemingly constant stream of fans and the family’s chickens, which lived in the yard (things that never bothered Elvis). Elvis considered buying every neighboring house, but instead, he and his parents decided to find a larger home out in the country.

The famous Graceland gates were one of the first major changes Elvis made to the property.

The famous Graceland gates were one of the first major changes Elvis made to the property.

On Saturday, March 16, 1957, Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon, took a tour of Graceland, which was a bit more secluded than the Audubon home. It sat high up on a hill off Highway 51, not far from the Mississippi-Tennessee State line.

The Presleys fell in love with the home, which had been built in 1939 by the Toof family. Named Graceland after the owners’ aunt, Grace, the beautiful, two-story home was exactly what they were looking for in a home for their family. They called Elvis, who was filming in Hollywood, and told him the good news.

Elvis arrived in Memphis on March 18, and the next day, he put a $1,000 down payment on the home. The purchase was finalized on March 25 for $102,500.

Elvis renovated the home several times, changing the furnishings and decor as trends came and went.

Elvis renovated the home several times, changing the furnishings and decor as trends came and went.

Elvis paid $10,000 in cash, received $55,000 from the realty company for the Audubon Drive home and got a 25-year mortgage for the remainder. Elvis purchased the home as well as 13.8 acres of the surrounding farm land.

The Presley family had Graceland renovated before moving in, so Vernon, Gladys and Elvis’ grandmother didn’t move in until May 16. Elvis was filming “Jailhouse Rock” by this time, so he didn’t spend the first night there until June 26.

Elvis loved Graceland. No matter where he traveled - or what other homes he owned - he always came back to Graceland.

Elvis loved Graceland. No matter where he traveled – or what other homes he owned – he always came back to Graceland.

Before owning and living in Graceland, Elvis and his parents had lived in several homes and apartments. But with the purchase of Graceland, Elvis found his home. He lived there for the remainder of his life – another 20 years – and made it his own. He redecorated and expanded – Graceland was 10,266 square feet when he moved in, and it’s 17,552 square feet now – and he added unique touches like the lions out front (did you ever notice that they are not identical?) and those famous Graceland gates. Inside, the house is a cozy family home, with a welcoming living room, gorgeous music room and fabulous dining room.

Downstairs, the basement dazzles with the colorful and completely unique Pool Room, and the TV Room is a media room like no other, complete with a built-in jukebox that holds 100 singles, as well as a turntable and three TVs. Oh, and don’t forget the Jungle Room, complete with its own fountain.

More than 20 million guests have experienced Graceland - including its famous Jungle Room.

More than 20 million guests have experienced Graceland – including its famous Jungle Room.

No matter where Elvis traveled, he always came home to Graceland. He raised his family there, spent many memorable holidays there and enjoyed many past times on the grounds, like horseback riding and racquetball.

Since opening to the public in 1982, Graceland has welcomed more than 20 million guests from all over the world. Some of those have been celebrities, royalty and U.S. Presidents. Elvis’ home sweet home was named to the American National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Graceland is also home to Elvis' cars. You can see some of Elvis' most luxurious rides now at Presley Motors, our new automobile museum at Elvis Presley's Memphis at Graceland.

Graceland is also home to Elvis’ cars. You can see some of Elvis’ most luxurious rides now at Presley Motors, our new automobile museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland.

Want to know more?

Click here to learn about Graceland’s history, find out Graceland’s Top 20 Moments, and check out our blog about Graceland by the Numbers.

Learn more about how you can get married or renew your vows at Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods.

Want to see parts of Graceland that you may miss on tour? Check out our “Hidden Graceland” episodes of our web series, Gates of Gracelandwatch part 1, watch part 2 and watch part 3.

Graceland was both a rock star's awesome home as well as a comfy family home. It's where he jammed with friends and threw parties, but it's also where he raised his family.

Graceland was both a rock star’s awesome home as well as a comfy family home. It’s where he jammed with friends and threw parties, but it’s also where he raised his family.

And of course, the best way to celebrate Graceland is to experience it for yourself. The new exhibits in the Trophy Building at Graceland focus on the Presley family, as well as Graceland artifacts. In addition to seeing Lisa Marie’s toys and the family Bible, you can also see red furnishings from Graceland’s red period, plus Elvis’ keys to Graceland. (And don’t forget to book your stay at The Guest House at Graceland!)

Get your tickets today, and we’ll see you soon at the king’s castle.


25 Comments

  1. Pat Underhill

    visited Graceland in 1979 for my 32nd birthday. Loved the whole atmosphere in the Meditation Gardens even though we were battling the tail end of hurricane Fredrick. Managed to meet Uncle Vestor and he signed the book he had written. Just a great experience for a very devoted fan

  2. janet nader

    I am a long time fan of elvis. I live in india and am retired. Hope to visit Graceland one day’

  3. taylor lindley

    I what to see Elvis Presley house in Graceland

  4. Denise Reiber

    Would like more information on Graceland. Planning a trip and would like to include this special place as one of my stops. Thank you.

  5. Mary jo Overocker

    I would love to see Graceland someday !!!

  6. cheryl Lamm

    I went to the new opening 3/2/2017.I really liked it ,but we missed the cars,jumpsuites,gold records and awards.where are they?

    • Those are now at our new entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Elvis’ cars and other motorized toys are in the Presley Motors museum, and in the Presley Cycles exhibit. Many of Elvis’ jumpsuits and awards are now housed in Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the world’s largest Elvis museum.

  7. Joanne Wigzell

    I will be visiting Graceland in early May along with my brother and his wife. We’ve already booked the Ultimate VIP tour and are looking forward to it. I’ve been checking out the Graceland complex on Google Earth and generally online and it seems that the original iconic gates and wall out front of the mansion are now gone. Am I right? And if so, have the gates been preserved and relocated? I look forward to your reply by return email.

  8. DORIS A. BROWN

    I have been to Graceland many times and I took my parents there before they passed in 1984. So many different things have been added each time I return. You can tour many famous people’s home, but Graceland ‘just have that loving, home feeling to it”. I know he had to be so pleased when he was able to keep his promise to his Mom and Dad that when he grew up, he would buy them a home, car, etc. There’s only one Elvis. RIP

  9. Joanne Lortie

    I am an avid Elvis Presley fan from Ottawa,Ontario,Canada. We have been to Graceland 3 times in the last 5 years,driving more than 2,000 kilometers,but my God it is so worth it! Enjoyed it every time. We also got to meet Jimmy Gambill that manages all of Graceland exteriors, Jimmy is Elvis’s cousin and what a nice man! We hope to make it to Memphis again this summer, can’t wait to see the new Guesthouse and Elvis Presley Memphis! Thank ya’ll at Elvis Presley Enterprise and to the wonderful Priscilla and Lisa for letting us be part of Elvis’s world! TCB to all!

  10. Been to Graceland several times. love it there and am looking foreward to spending a night at the Guesthouse and also enjoying the new museums across the street.

  11. I have been a life long Elvis fan. I made my first trip to Graceland opening week of The Guest House last October. I am going back again this October. It is truly an awesome home and you can feel Elvis’s spirit in each room on the tour.

  12. Beth Riddle

    I was there for Elvis’s birthday ceremony this past January for the first time-celebrated my birthday with him which was 4 days before. Surreal-beautiful and amazing,his Spirit is there and people from all over the world celebrating him. It snowed also so property and the Christmas decorations couldn’t have felt more perfect. Will never forget-high light in my life. Guest House Hotel also spectacular.

  13. Can’t wait to see all the changes. I’ve heard and read really good things. Been to Graceland many times. All booked for EW!! But the most special place is his home,Graceland. Hope it never changes Excited.

  14. Lori Roy

    I will be visiting Graceland tomorrow. It was a gift from my family. Top item on my bucket list.

  15. Mike Davia

    In 1983 my family and I, we are from the UK, were at the candlelight, with us a lovely lady from Japan.She in traditional dress,couldn’t speak any English but made us aware if there wasx an Elvis song that she heard and like she would let us know with a thumbs up
    When we got graveside she took off a wonderful cape, folded it placed it on Elvis’ grave and bowed and walked away
    It had Elvis’ karate symbol of a tiger on it. It is a moment I will never forget

  16. Annette Rhoades

    Got to tour Graceland last year, absolutely loved it, cant wait to return again to see all the new stuff!!! Got chills, just to think Iwas really there in his beautiful home.

  17. Brenda Stegman

    I was Young girl born 1960. Finally noticing Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show. He was handsome and had a great voice! I was probably around age 13. A teenager but thought wow this guy is going to make it big! He is great he has got it all voice looks and charisma!! Still to this day, Elvis is a big part of me growing up in a new age!!!

  18. Brenda Stegman

    Looking forward to seeing Graceland soon ! Hopefully 2018!!

  19. Brenda stegman

    Since a young age I remember seeing Elvis ! I love his movies and his singing and dancing he had so much energy!! I thought wow he is going to be great if he keeps it up!!! That is what happen he was determine and it was his destiny to be great!!!! Elvis will never be forgotten.

  20. Gary Marlow

    I travel all the way from Australia twice to visit Graceland absolutely fantastic if I ever went to the states I will go and see it again

  21. Ede Danna

    In August 2017 I will be visiting Graceland, and participating in the Images of The King Festival …. VIVA ELVIS !!

  22. I have been to Graceland several times. My Mama says I’ve been a fan since I was a baby (first time I ever walked was to the tv when Elvis was on). Had Elvis music at my wedding, have visited his favorite spots & homes. Elvis music will be at my funeral as well. Graceland is a magnificent place. I’ve taken kids there & grand kids. It is well worth the trip & an excellent way for several generations of families to make memories together.

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