On This Day: Elvis Presley Pays $1,000 Down Payment on Graceland in 1957

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Even Elvis Presley, “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” still had to put down a cash deposit before he can move into a luxurious house.

According to History.com, on March 19, 1957, Elvis Presley paid $1,000 as a cash deposit to secure what would become the infamous Graceland. The sale price of the house was $102,500. The value of that today is about $924,000.

Zillow currently states that the typical home value in Memphis, Tennessee is $112,764. This is for the “middle price tier of homes.”

Graceland Then and Now

Graceland, on the other hand, is a massive 17,552-square-foot home with 23 total rooms, including eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The southern mansion sits on 13.8 acres of land. When he first purchased the mansion it was about 10,000 square feet, but it has grown since. In fact, it is the second-most-visited house in the U.S. with the White House being No.1.

For some reason, it’s almost difficult to imagine a world-famous celebrity putting a payment down on a house. However, like any homeowner, it’s easy to picture Elvis Presley on the green lawn of the Graceland property gazing up at his future home and saying something like “I’ll take it.”

Soon after, Graceland became the place-to-be for everyone in Elvis Presley’s life. This includes the members of the Memphis Mafia, his group of evolving friends that closely surrounded the star. It also included his parents and his grandmother, as well as his wife, Priscilla Presley, at one point. He had purchased a house on Audubon Avenue for his parents in East Memphis, but his stardom level caused herds of fans to flock and gawk out front.

As he was purchasing the home, Presley was finishing his second movie, “Loving You.” He had released 48 singles and two albums. His fame really started to grow in 1956, by 1957 he was well into his career as an actor, musician, and overall public icon.

Elvis Presley and Graceland

Graceland held a special place in Elvis Presley’s heart. There is a portion of the mansion that remains unavailable for the public eye. While the house has become a tourist sensation, Presley’s one place of solace remains rather untouched.

Elvis’ upstairs bedroom was his one spot away from the world. He only let his closest friends upstairs and would often hide from guests upstairs. Only a few people have access to this room now and know exactly what it looks like.

Presley passed away from a heart attack in his master bathroom. He was buried at a gravesite in Forest Hill Cemetery. However, he was moved to Graceland’s Meditation Garden in 1977 to be on the property he loved. Beyond that, his body was moved because several people had attempted to steal his remains.

NBC 26 reports that days after Presley’s death a group of men tried to steal his remains and hold them for ransom. There’s a documentary all about it called “The Man Who Dared to Steal the King.”

The documentary interviews Raymond “Bubba” Green, who claims he was in charge of the heist to take the 900-pound coffin. Somehow, he avoided going to prison for trying to steal his body. The story is full of strange plot holes and the men were only ever charged for trespassing.