New Graceland complex promises Memphis contributions to Elvis Presley legacy
Source: San Antonio Headlines Examiner
October 9, 2015
Elvis' Graceland, Elvis Articles, Elvis News
While Jack Soden, the President and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises promises Graceland will not change, he opened up the Elvis Car Museum last night for residents of the Whitehaven community to learn about the proposed plans to enhance the neighborhood.
'Here is really, basically the reason people come here from 170 countries a year, from every corner of the earth', Soden said, motioning to the direction of the Graceland mansion. 'That's never going to change. That's the heart and soul of this whole thing'.
A preview of the revitalization of the west side of Elvis Presley Blvd. was especially well received by those in attendance. New plans, as presented in blue prints and diagrams presented by Soden, include 'state-of-the-art' facilities comprised of two restaurants, a soundstage, retail shops, and more parking.
'I am excited about the two new museums', said Mark Griffen. 'One will be a modern Elvis car museum and the other will be about Elvis, the Entertainer. Updating this region is long overdue and it all begins with the Graceland area'.
'This is our opportunity to take what we have welcomed and served 19 million visitors with and do something better', CEO Jack Soden stated, also indicating Elvis' jumpsuits, gold records, guitars and other memorabilia would be prominently displayed in the 'Elvis the Entertainer' museum.
Elvis Presley Enterprises built an archives building that opened in 2015 and expect the new 450-room resort hotel Guest House at Graceland to hold a grand opening on Oct. 27, 2016. On that date the Heartbreak Hotel will be officially closed to make room for needed tourism parking near the intersection of Elvis Presley Blvd. and Craft street.
On October 8th, a Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development board will review the renewal plans that were submitted to the Memphis office of Planning and Development to determine if the proposal will be sent to the city council for a vote of approval. The August 28, 2015 application notes the $35 million proposal represents 200,000 square feet of new facilities on 46 acres to be deemed 'Graceland West'.
Graceland sits on the original 13.8 acre estate Presley purchased in 1957 for a sum of $100,000. Soden, Priscilla Presley, and Elvis' Aunt Briggs cut the ribbon for opening the home to the public as a museum on June 7, 1982. On Nov. 7, 1991, Graceland was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.
'It will be nice to see the property directly across from Graceland become beautiful trees and grass again', Griffen observed. 'The new complex will be modern with nice landscaping and streamlined for Elvis fans who visit. This is major'.
Read about Elvis Presley's Graceland
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Elvis Presley's Home Sweet Homes
Elvis Presley's Graceland : The Tour
The Graceland Wall : To Elvis With Love
The 'Den' : The Jungle Room
Elvis Presley : Home Movies of Graceland
Drone Footage of Graceland
The Graceland Music Gates
3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee
Visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland
Elvis Presley : Rising Sun and other Horses at Graceland
Over the years
Graceland Newspaper article : March 1957
Elvis Presley with the music gates of Graceland : April 22, 1957
Photos of Graceland : April, 1962
Elvis Presley at Graceland : March 1965
Elvis Presley : Graceland : February 16, 1968
Jerry Lee Lewis, Arrested at the Gates of Graceland
The Night Springsteen Jumped the Fence at Graceland
Elvis Presley's 1955 Pink Cadillac at Graceland
President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Visit Graceland
Graceland Mansion Designated National Historic Landmark
Elvis Presley Biography
For a more (very) detailed history of Elvis Presley see Elvis Presley 1935-1953
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
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The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.