Graceland Becomes Historic Landmark
Tue, 28 Mar 2006 17:21:46
Elvis lives -- his memory, at least -- and the federal government will see to it that his living quarters and burial grounds are preserved for generations to come.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Interior bestowed its “National Historic Landmark” honor on Graceland, the mansion in Memphis where Elvis Presley roamed and where 600,000 tourists make pilgrimages to each year. On hand for the occasion were Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, who took advantage of the assembled press to announce that the family has no plans of selling the estate. Lisa Marie is the sole heir and owns the physical property. She did, however, sell much of her claim to the actual business goings-on at Graceland. The buyer? CKX, Inc. -- owners of American Idol! The people who cut Simon Cowell's paychecks have said that they will be “improving” the Graceland estate in order to attract even more visitors, and have it rival Disneyland and, presumably, Dollywood.
Trotted out to lead the ceremony was rock-and-roll Interior Secretary Gail Norton. Let the fireworks begin! “It would be difficult to tell the story of the 20th century without discussing many contributions made by this legendary, iconic artist,” Norton said.
Graceland joins a few other representatives of Tennessee’s rich musical heritage on the National Historic Landmark list, including Memphis' Beale Street district, Ryman Auditorium, and the Sun Record Company building. Other musicians whose homes have been singled out for recognition include Duke Ellington and Scott Joplin.
-- The ARTISTdirect Staff