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Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee

Photo by Flickr Member Natalie Curtiss / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Graceland Mansion perches on a hilltop in Whitehaven, a suburb 8 miles from downtown Memphis, Tennessee. During the Civil War, the land was part of a 500-acre farm. The house was built in 1939 by Dr. Thomas and Ruth Moore who named it "Graceland" in honor of a family member. The Neoclassical mansion is often described as a Classical Revival or a Colonial Revival in style. Architectural historian Jody Cook gives a thorough description of the property in the National Historic Landmark Nomination form [PDF, May 27, 2004, accessed January 7, 2013].

Two-stories high, Graceland Mansion has a classical entrance portico with Corinthian columns. The siding is Tishomingo, a tan-colored limestone mined in Tennessee.

During the 1950s, Graceland was used by the Christian Church. In 1957 Elvis Presley purchased it from the YMCA for just under $102,500. He quickly began remodeling and redecorating. He added a racquetball court, a pink Alabama fieldstone wall, and wrought iron gates shaped like giant guitars. The house grew from 10,266 square feet to 17,552 square feet as Elvis Presley added more and more rooms.

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