Monday, August 16, 2004

Tour, or even stay at, Elvis' apartment

The public housing apartment where Elvis Presley spent his teenage years may soon be a hotel suite like no other. Uptown Memphis now owns the old Lauderdale Courts housing project and has undertaken a major renovation to create 347 apartments renting from $515 to $1,430 a month.

The work includes restoration of the 689-square-foot apartment that was home to Presley and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, from 1949 to 1953. It opened for the first time to public tours for the 27th anniversary of Presley's death at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977.

Uptown Memphis plans to offer the apartment tours on the anniversary of his death each year and on his birthday in January. For the rest of the year, the apartment will be available for private, short-term rentals. Prices have not yet been set.

The complex, built in 1938, is on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of public housing provided by the Works Progress Administration. Closed in 2000, Lauderdale Courts faced demolition.

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