24 Hours of Elvis: 6:08 p.m. – Elvis Slept Here

Posted by Holly Whitfield | August 15th 2011 9705 0

(I’m having an Elvis-themed day. All day, immersed in the world of Elvis – checking out his favorite places, eating where he ate, and doing some of the things he did in an attempt to find out why after so many years, Elvis is still so fascinating for so many people.)

You can’t go upstairs to see the bedrooms at Graceland, but you can see Elvis’ old apartment at Uptown Square.

Uptown Square used to be the Lauderdale Courts housing project. Elvis there with his parents at 185 Winchester, apartment 328, from 1949 until 1953.

Photo by Raphael Tenschert

Here’s what the Uptown Square website has to say about Elvis’ time in the apartment:

“For it was from here that a shy Elvis would practice his guitar in the basement laundry room and would also meet and play with other musicians who lived in The Courts. Elvis would walk to nearby Beale Street and gain inspiration from blues artists. You could find him listening to records at Pop Tunes around the corner. Sun Studios was over a mile away. It was here in this close knit community that Elvis met girlfriends, went to Humes School and developed as a performer.”

The apartments have been renovated since Elvis lived here, but they’ve taken care to make sure that the one that he lived in is still authentic to the period.

When you walk into the apartment (which is pretty small for a two bedroom), you’re in the living room.

Lauderdale Courts Living Room

Though it’s decorated with family photos and vintage furniture, it’s not completely in the past. There’s a TV hiding in an antique wardrobe.

Off of the living room, there’s a tiny kitchen. It’s nice and bright, but everything in it seems to be at three quarters scale. The stove is tiny, and it seems almost impossible that the table (which has three chairs) could seat three people.

Lauderdale Courts Kitchen, Memphis, Tenn.

There are two bedrooms – one for Elvis’ parents, Vernon and Gladys:

Vernon and Glady's bedroom at Lauderdale Courts

And one for high-school aged Elvis:

Elvis' bedroom at Lauderdale Courts, Memphis, Tenn.

It’s decorated with an appropriate amount of teenage boy accoutrements – comic books, a toy gun, a guitar (which, incidentally, is perfectly in tune). Unlike most teenage boy rooms, though, Elvis’ room at Lauderdale Courts has this – a wall of lipstick kisses from visiting female fans:

Lipstick Kisses in Elvis' room at Uptown Square, Memphis, Tenn.

I couldn’t help it – I rummaged around in my bag until I found some lipstick and planted one of my own.

The awesome people at Uptown Square gave me the keys to the apartment for the night. I’ve been here about half an hour and am trying to get settled in, but it’s kind of weird. I had hoped it would feel like a hotel room, but instead, I feel like I’m a guest in someone’s very well-kept home. It took me a good half an hour to get comfortable enough to take my shoes off.

The staff warned me that sometimes people peek in the windows (the front of the apartment faces Third St., and that it’s possible that the place may have some supernatural visitors, but so far, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. It’s just me, the Elvis apartment and Cake Boss on the TV.

Go There:

Elvis Apartment at Uptown Square

252 North Lauderdale Street
Memphis, TN 38105-3620

(901) 523-8662

(PS  – a huge thank you to the staff at Lauderdale Courts for letting me stay the night. You guys are the best!)

Show Comments


  1. Caz Tull says:

    Love it, I went in it for a visit Jan 10th. I would love to stay there, yes I have left my lipstick Mark on the wall too

  2. Barbara Moore says:

    Thank you so much for a great story. It’s nice that the apartment has been kept like that for people to enjoy. Hope you put other stories on here.Thanks!

  3. Jarrod says:

    Your lipstick photo is set to private, according to the page I get when I click through.

  4. Alan Ambrose says:

    Glad you enjoyed your stay! And your right, it definately feels like you’ve stepped back in time once your inside and the sun goes down ( until you find the flat screen tv that is!) I always found it very peaceful and relaxing inside. It was great to meet you until next time.

  5. Thank you for this great photos, i want to stay there.

  6. M O'Neill says:

    I'm here now ,the wife a Elvis fan she love it ,but we went to the panto in London and that was much better ?

  7. DAVID RAITERI says:

    Am writing a novel (1951 time period) with a chapter on Lauderdale Courts. What streets run along the 4-sides of Lauderdale Courts-?
    At the time Elvis lived in the Courts, my siblings & I lived in the Baptist orphanage out U.S. highway.( 3/51– 6/57) . Also my siblings & I lived in the city’s Lamar Terrace housing project ( 3/57– 3-60). Would argue life as a former tenant in a housing project, in general was much better for teens in Lauderdale Courts. It is all relative.
    Novel is also about the transition- changing music scene from slow Hank Williams music. . . . to the fast & loud rockabilly scene in the late 1940s Maddox brothers & .

  8. Sarah LaRae GODWIN says:

    I love this. What a great experience. I drove by Lauderdale Courts but I guess that it wasn’t open then. I wish that it had been !! I will have to try and go there !!

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