The then owners of the property were a married couple – an outstanding surgeon and urologist, Dr. Thomas Moore and his wife Ruth. And it was they who, in 1939, commissioned the construction of one of the most important and most frequently visited buildings in the entire United States on the land inherited by Ruth*.
The design of the residence with an area of nearly nine hundred and fifty-four square meters was made by Fubringer and Ehrman (the company’s name comes from the names of its architects, Max Fubringer and Merillem Ehrman) from Memphis. And what is worth emphasizing, already at that time there were certain musical traditions associated with the house…
“Graceland was built in 1939 for Dr. Thomas D. Moore and his wife, Rooth Brown Moore, and named after her aunt, Grace ,” says the society of architectural historians’ website, Sah-Archipedia.org. “It is located ten miles south of downtown Memphis, on land that had belonged to the Brown family since before the Civil War. The house was partly designed to showcase the talents of the Moors’ daughter, Ruth Marie, a child prodigy on both the piano and the harp (Ruth was a harpist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, author’s note). Large, spacious rooms at the front of the house opened so that Ruth’s music could also be presented outside, to guests sitting on the lawn. During such performances, up to half a thousand of them sat there .
Elvis, accompanied by Vernon and Gladys, as well as a local newspaper reporter and real estate agent Virginia Grant, showed up at the address given by his parents just three days after the above-mentioned telephone conversation, on Tuesday, March 19, 1957 (he had returned from Hollywood the day before). And as the story goes, he immediately fell in love with what he saw.
He decided to purchase the property and the adjacent land of 13.8 ares on the same day. The value of the transaction was one hundred and two and a half thousand dollars (which, taking into account inflation and the current value of the dollar, is equivalent to one million dollars today).
However, on March 19, the singer only paid an advance payment (in cash) of ten thousand dollars, while the rest was finalized a week later, on March 25. Elvis obtained the remaining amount from the sale of the house on Audubon Drive (fifty-five thousand) and from a mortgage loan, which he was granted for the next twenty-five years.
” I think I’ll like this new house ,” a happy Gladys Presley told reporters. ” We’ll have a lot more privacy and a lot more space for some of the things we’ve collected over the last few years .”
Indeed, Graceland, unlike earlier houses, including the house on Audubun Drive, where the Presley family lived in recent years, seemed to be a real palace.
Inside the building there were as many as eighteen rooms, including eight bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a huge, nearly twenty-three-meter living room.
However, before the Presleys finally moved into Graceland, the building underwent extensive renovations. The renovation lasted until mid-May.
While renovation crews were busy working on Elvis’ new estate, he set off for the Western United States, where on March 28 he started another concert tour.
The tour began with a performance in Chicago, Illinois, at the International Amphiteater (built in 1934 and demolished sixty-five years later in 1999).
“There will be two musical concerts this week – Elvis Presley’s performance on Thursday and the thirteen-day ‘Matzo Ball Jambore’ revue, which will start on Friday ,” reported the Chicago Daily News (March 24, 1957). ” Presley’s performance will take place at the International Amphiteater at 8 p.m. and will be the beginning of a short tour that will include cities such as St. Louis, Fort Wayne, Detroit, Ottawa, Toronto and Philadelphia. This will also be Presley’s first appearance in Chicago, where he promised to appear in his expensive gold suit .
The suit mentioned by the journalist writing for the local afternoon newspaper was designed at the request of Colonel Parker by a Hollywood designer, highly valued, especially in the artistic community, Nudi Cohn (or rather Nuta Kotlyarenko, because that was the real name and surname of this Kiev-born tailor). [pictured below with Elvis]
The idea to create this original costume, which is now considered a symbol of the rock’n’roll era, was probably born at the end of the successful year 1956. Then, as Alan Hanson writes in his study, Parker supposedly decided that ” his golden boy needed a golden suit ” in which he could perform on stage.
Ultimately, however, the famous outfit was sewn only in January of the following year, i.e. when Cohn was making costumes for the film “Loving You”.
Made almost entirely of very impressive but completely impractical (the material easily rubbed and split) gold trim, the suit almost immediately became a hit, to which journalists covering the evening concert devoted almost as much space in their texts as to Presley himself! ” Last night, Elvis Presley put on his gold slippers, grabbed his guitar, danced and turned the International Amphiteater into a twelve-thousand-thousand-person mass of raging teenagers ,” wrote Louise Hutchinson of the Chicago Daily News in her piece “Elvis Rolls and 12,000 Teen-Age Fans Rock.” And the Chicago Daily Tribune, in a short photo report, noted that Elvis ” wore a $2,500 gold suit that delighted 12,000 fans .”
Interestingly, Elvis was never a fan of the outfit in question. Apart from the opening performance of the tour in Chicago, he wore it in its entirety only three more times. The next night in St. Louis and during both concerts in Toronto.
* The original owner of the land on which Graceland was built was Stephen C. Toof, press manager of the Daily Appeal in Memphis and founder of the city’s oldest printing company, SC Toof & Co. The farm was named after his daughter, Grace, who inherited the property in 1894. After her death, the lands passed to her niece, Rooth Moore.
Information provided by EP Promised Land (Marius Ogieglo) http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/
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