“Sleep in Elvis Presley's Apartment!”
Second only to Graceland, Lauderdale Courts is the Memphis home Elvis lived in the longest. From September 1949 to January 1953 Elvis Presley and his parents, Gladys and Vernon, lived at 185 Winchester, Apartment 328 in Lauderdale Courts. "The Courts" proved to be a pivotal place for Elvis as he developed his unique style, for it was here where a shy Elvis would practice the guitar in the basement laundry room. He would also meet and play with the other musicians who lived in The Courts. Elvis would stroll to nearby Beale Street and gain inspiration from famous blues artists. You could find him listening to records at Poplar Tunes record store around the corner and Sun Studio was just over a mile away. It was here, in this close knit community, that Elvis met girlfriends, attended Humes High and developed as a performer. More importantly, it was where Elvis would garner the affirmation of friends and neighbors as he performed in the wonderfully designed communal courtyards and mall of Lauderdale Courts. Scheduled for the wrecking ball in the mid-nineties, Elvis' teenage home was saved by the efforts of Elvis fans, Memphis Heritage preservation organization, the City of Memphis and Memphis developers Jack Belz and Henry Turley. On the National Register of Historic Places, Lauderdale Courts, now renamed Uptown Square, has been renovated to become Downtown Memphis' hippest new address. It is part of the innovative Uptown Memphis development. In September of 1949, the Presleys moved into Lauderdale Courts at 185 Winchester #328. Since moving from Tupelo, Mississippi, they had lived in a series of rooming house apartment int he Uptown area prior to being accepted by the Memphis Housing Authority. To be eligible for public housing at the time, a family's combined income could not exceed $3,000 per year. The Presleys paid $35 a month rent. At the time they moved in, there was no air-conditioning and only radiator heat. Among their belongings listed on their move-in report were two small table fans, a radio, a trunk and some paperwork. Elvis had the larger room with a view of Third Street; he would be seen many an afternoon sitting in the window playing his guitar. Gladys would indulge her only son by allowing him to maintain his own separate set of dishes and silverware. A shy Elvis would also practice his guitar in the basement laundry room directly below their apartment. Elvis eventually made friends and worked up the courage to entertain the neighbors in the complex's communal courtyards and the grassy Market Mall. These were some of the first stages from which he would perform.
Elvis Presley and his parents lived here from 1949 til 1953. Today, you can see the room that Elvis slept in. The whole place feels like you're stepping back in time to the 50s. They also offer overnight stays for diehard Elvis fans.
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- Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sat: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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