scorecard
  1. Home
  2. life
  3. news
  4. Take a look inside Graceland — the Memphis mansion that Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, called home

Take a look inside Graceland the Memphis mansion that Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, called home

Amanda Goh   

Take a look inside Graceland — the Memphis mansion that Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, called home
Graceland's exterior.David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
  • Graceland is a 13.8-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee, that was once owned by Elvis Presley.
  • The King of Rock and Roll lived in the house from 1957 until his death in 1977.

It's been 44 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.

It
Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley stands in front of his Graceland estate.      Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Presley lived in the mansion from 1957 up until his death in 1977, per the official Graceland website. 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 been operating as a museum dedicated to the star. Ticket packages offer access to the mansion, with prices for adults starting from $77. It has hosted over 20 million visitors from across the globe, per the website.

The Graceland estate did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Also known as the "King of Rock and Roll," Presley was a cultural icon of the 20th century.

Also known as the "King of Rock and Roll," Presley was a cultural icon of the 20th century.
Presley is also known as the King of Rock and Roll.      RB/Getty Images

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 then-girlfriend, Ginger Alden. She documented the moment she found him on the master bathroom floor in her 2014 memoir, The Mirror reported.

He was pronounced dead on the same day, with the official cause of death attributed to heart failure, per The New York Times. He was 42 years old.

Presley purchased the Graceland estate in 1957 for $102,500, per the official museum website.

Presley purchased the Graceland estate in 1957 for $102,500, per the official museum website.
Exterior view of Elvis Presley's house Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, United States.      GAB Archive/Redferns

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, which is where the star's master suite is located.

Visitors are only allowed access to common spaces, including the living room, the kitchen, and the TV room, per the Graceland website. 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 dubbed the "Memphis Mafia" by the media. Some members of the group were childhood friends of Presley's, including his bodyguards Red West 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 music score, there are even figures on the gate depicting the star with his guitar.

One of the most iconic features of Graceland is the entrance gate. Designed to resemble a music score, there are even figures on the gate depicting the star with his guitar.
Entrance gates to Graceland, Memphis, United States.      Mike Blake/Reuters

The gate, which cost $1,339, was installed shortly after Presley purchased the residence, per the museum's website. 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," Graceland archivist Angie Marchese 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 interiors of Graceland are lavishly decorated. The living area has a custom-built 15-foot sofa and a 10-foot coffee table.
Elvis' Living Room in Graceland, with a custom-made 15-foot sofa and coffee table.      Jon Hicks/Getty Images

The sofa was originally blue metallic, 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.

The dining room, which has black marble flooring in the center, was a place for Presley and his friends to gather.
Elvis Presley's dining room in Graceland.      Jon Hicks/Getty Images

"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.

One of the most famous rooms in Graceland is the Jungle Room.
An armchair in the corner of the Jungle Room in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee.      Paul Natkin/Getty Images

The room's name only came about after the mansion was 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. Some of the songs on his album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee," were recorded here.

The pool room features fabric-lined walls and ceiling, which took 10 days to install.

The pool room features fabric-lined walls and ceiling, which took 10 days to install.
A fan takes a photo of the pool room.      Jon Hicks/Getty Images

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.

Presley died upstairs in his master suite, and it has been preserved exactly as he left it.
One of the staircases in Graceland during Christmas.      Graceland

"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.

The TV room, which is designed in a navy, white, and yellow color scheme, has three television sets.
The TV room.      David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Inspired by former 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.

Although the upper floor remains off-limits, Presley
Elvis' office on the upper floor.      AP Photo/Lance Murphey

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
Visitors can walk down the famous Hall of Gold to see the star's gold records.      John Hicks/Getty Images

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 new wing was subsequently renamed the Trophy Building and remodeled to house his awards.

The building was updated 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.

Presley enjoyed playing racquetball. After he died, the racquetball building was transformed into an additional trophy hall for a few years.
Elvis Presley memorabilia on display in the racquetball building in Graceland.      David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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 and his family members have been laid to rest on the grounds of the Graceland estate, in the Meditation Garden.

Presley and his family members have been laid to rest on the grounds of the Graceland estate, in the Meditation Garden.
To commemorate the anniversary of his death, fans from around the world leave flowers at his grave during Elvis Week.      Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Elvis Week, which commemorates the anniversary of his 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 sees around 500,000 visitors every year.

With the new Baz Luhrmann movie, "Elvis," starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, now out in theaters, Presley has seen a resurgence in popularity.

Members of the cast showed up at Graceland for the Memphis premiere of the film earlier this month, per The Commercial Appeal, a daily Memphis newspaper. The screening was accompanied by a press junket to promote the film, including a GMA interview with Tom Hanks and Austin Butler that was recorded in the Jungle room.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON


Popular Right Now




Advertisement