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Graceland~It was Elvis' home for 20 years and it was his "security blanket" where he could go to get away from all the pressures of his fame. Purchased in 1957 for somewhere around $100,000, Elvis enjoyed the privacy of his beloved home. He lived there, played there and died there.

The History Of Graceland

Graceland was built in 1939 by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas D. Moore, on a hilly and heavily wooded 13 1/4 acre site, which back then was way out in the country on a 2 lane highway 51, which connected Memphis and Jackson, MS.  The land is actually closer to Mississippi than downtown Memphis. Although the name "Graceland" eventually came to refer specifically to the home, originally it applied to the entire 500-acre spread, which was established as a Hereford cattle farm in 1861, by S.E. Toof, the publisher of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  It was named "Graceland" after his daughter, Grace Toof.  Ruth Moore, who eventually built Graceland, the house, was Grace's niece.  Over the years, various  pieces of the farm were developed into a Graceland subdivision and the Whitehaven Plaza Shopping Center.

Located well back from Highway 51 in a grove of towering oaks, it stands proudly on land that has been in the family nearly a century.  As you roll up the drive, you sense the fine heritage of the past in its general feeling of aristocratic kindness and tranquility.

She went on to give a detailed account of the Moore residence:  "Polished with the quiet manners characteristic of today's beauty, the palatial home is a noteworthy example of the Georgian Colonial style. Extending across the entire front are the reception hall, drawing room and solarium.  When I tell you that the four rooms can seat an audience of 500, you have an idea of their spacious proportions."  "Adding to the graciousness of the dinning room are cornices for display of more fine china and glassware, and a picture window framing the trees on the grounds beyond.  Draperies of French blue damask draw cozily together at night but leave the enchanting view unobstructed by day.

Taking a reluctant leave of the dining room, I entered the drawing room and immediately winced at the futility of trying to capture such loveliness in the written word.  Center of interest is the fireplace carved in Colonial motif and faced inwhite marble.  A wall of glass blocks separates the drawing room from the solarium (which would later become Elvis' music room).  Also included in the first floor plan are a guest room, breakfast room, kitchen, and service rooms.  The basement houses a den, library and two game rooms.  Four bedrooms and four baths on the second floor complete this family manor, one of the most outstanding homes in Memphis."

The glass blocks referred to, were first of all, covered with drapes by Elvis, then much later were taken out completely and stored in the barn when the stained glass peacocks were installed in the room division in 1974.

Graceland As It Looked In 1970's

Graceland Statistics

Graceland today sits on 13 1/4 acres.   The house itself, when Elvis purchased it, had 10,266 square feet. Today the home is 17,552 square feet, excluding the Racquetball building which is a little over 2000 square feet.

In the first year after Elvis purchased Graceland he spent upwards of half a million dollars, inside and outside.  The wall that surrounds the property is made of Alabama fieldstone, and cost him $65, 000.  The iron music gates, designed for Elvis by Abe Saucer and custom-built by Doors Inc. of Memphis, were $2,400.  He also had the pool put in and enlarged the patio considerably. Graceland's white carpeting, white 15 ft. sofa (made in 1957) and blue drapes, in other words, the blue, white and gold color scheme were in place at Graceland until 1974 when Elvis allowed his then girlfriend, Linda Thompson to re-decorate Graceland.  Linda had the rooms done in blood red carpeting, red Louis furniture and white shag rugs.  The downstairs tv room and pool room were also re-done, with Elvis instructing that he wanted 3 tv sets in the far wall of the tv room (hence it's name).


17,552 Sq. Ft.

Twenty-three rooms

8 Bedrooms

8 Bathrooms

4 Half Baths

Four car garage (later converted in to an apartment)

Two-tiered patio


Trophy Room


Living Room

Dining Room

Music Room

T.V. Room

Game Room


13 1/4 acres

Racquetball Bldg.


Vernon's Office

Smoke house


Pool House/bathroom

Water well (no longer in use)

Various buildings and mobile homes

Alabama Limestone Wall

Wrought Iron Gates

Graceland today is the most visited home in the United States, second only to the White House. 600,000 + visitors a year go thru Graceland, more during special occasions like the anniversaries of Elvis death, his birthday and Christmas.

Here's some pictures of Graceland during the time of the '70s

Front View Of House

Front View With Car In Driveway

Back View Of The House

Another Front View

Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened