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They'll Open Graceland's Second Floor

Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:37 pm

At some point, in the very near future, doesn't it seem likely that they would have to capitulate to demands to open the second floor? We've heard the excuses...that the old house can't take 500,000 visitors going up and down the stairs every year. That the Fire Marshall won't allow it, etc.

My personal belief is that at some point, in the not too distant future, EPE will HAVE to open the second floor if they're going to keep interest up and the money flowing. After all, how many times can one visit Graceland before they've seen it one too many times? (We're talking about casual fans, not us diehards) It's great that they put out new suits & exhibits, but wouldn't opening up the second floor be guaranteed to keep the tourists coming for quite a few more years? It wouldn't be hard to do...they could put a new staircase going up the back of the house and incorporate it as discreetly as possible. Opinions, everyone?


His Truth Is Marching On...

Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:59 pm

The reason they change the jumpsuit display every 6 months is to assure people returning...every 6 months.
If people stop going to Graceland (due to "yawn * having seen it all") then EPE will be forced to do something spectacular - like opening the 2nd floor.

But I tend to agree with questioning the structural integrity of the stairs with 1,000s of people going up and down. Is that one staircase to only way back down?

That's not well-designed for traffic. You can't herd people up and down the same way that 1st Floor design accomodates traffic flow going thru the kitchen/jungle room/out to the backyard etc.

I imagine Second Floor Access may be an extra $10-20 charge to dissuade common everyday stair traffic.

Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:10 am

I agree with your assessment of the staircase. That's why I propose they build a new, enclosed staircase on the back of the house and cut a door from that onto the second floor. I know a lot of people may have a problem with'll deface the home, change it, etc., but wouldn't that be better than people losing interest in the place?

Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:16 am

I fist saw Graceland in 1977 when directly across the blvd was a field in desparate need of bush-hogging.
Over the years, EPE has turned that field into an Elvis Strip-Mall complete with their own hotel. They may keep the mansion intact and just keep building a bigger and better Elvis Mall - maybe a themepark too. :?

They may make a full-scale reproduction of the Mansion 2nd floor in some building at the mall.

All I know is that the more concrete they pour, the less this Graceland Gardener has to mow.
Last edited by Graceland Gardener on Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:18 am

EagleUSA -

Anyone who thinks it is a bit morbid to view the actual room where Elvis died, look at the Memphis motel [?] where Martin Luther King died.

They have kept it exactly as it was that day, with half-empty coffee cups, unmade bed, etc.

The public can view all this through a perspex partition.

At least, that is what I've read.

Any Americans know the truth of it ?

Fri Jun 06, 2003 1:28 am

They will most likely reveal the upstairs in some form eventually.

The "privacy" excuse doesn't hold water anymore. The structural integrity argument does, however.

There's nothing stopping them from revealing the upstairs "virtually." In fact, they will probably do this FIRST (CD-ROM / video tour) and milk it for all the $$$ they can before doing anything with the actual estate grounds itself.

Of course it's morbid to want to see where Elvis died. So what. It's also human nature. Look at Dealey Plaza (The Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas Bookstore Depository) in Dallas. They have the corner window plexiglassed off and recreated the scene with a rifle, bullet casings, and the window cracked open a few inches peering down on the plaza. That's about as morbid as it gets. It keeps visitors coming, revenue, and teaches people in the process.

MLK's Motel, Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot, ..... and the list goes on. No longer just places, but historical symbols. Graceland is no longer a home, it is a National symbol, a cemetary, and a memorial. Why not have the upstairs open in some fashion for display ....... ? Whether it be "virtual", a 2nd staircase, or a reproduction ........... I think it is inevitable.

The last time I was there, a Graceland staff member asked me if I planned on coming back ................. my reply was: "I'll be back when you open up the upstairs." The shock on their face was priceless.

Whitehaven is in the middle of the Ghetto, ............. dumpsville ........... and getting worse with every passing year. EPE will need some kind of incentive to keep fans returning in the coming years.

...just a fan....

Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:08 am

Good points, all. I agree that at some point the estate will do something with regard to allowing visitors access upstairs. Whether it comes in the form of another Graceland tour video, actively including it on the tour route, or some other method, I think the demand will force their hand.

Structurally changing the mansion would likely meet with resistance, but surely there are knowledgeable engineers who have long-term answers to what can be done. [/u]

Fri Jun 06, 2003 3:55 pm

Carolyn -
I'm with you on this! Too much of Elvis' life has been laid bare and put undermicroscopic scrutiny. The upstairs was his "inner sanctum", and as such, should remain off limits. Something of this man's private life should stay private!

Fri Jun 06, 2003 4:29 pm

Sorry to disppoint all of you but they will NEVER open the upper level at Graceland.

Two reasons why:

1) It is still used by the family as living quarters.

2) The stirway could not handle the 5000 guests per day who visit Graceland. There is no emergency exit in case of fire. will have to settle for what you have already seen..

Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:25 pm

IF they ever allow the upstairs portion of the mansion to be viewed in any way, appropriate measures would be taken to ensure that no one--"ratbags" included--could not jump onto the toilet seat for a photo op.

I agree that this is something that will not happen anytime soon, but you just never know. Think about it...If Elvis can still "tour," then certainly they can make THIS happen.

Where there is a will ($$$), there is a way.

Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:10 pm


Although it would be very cool for them to open the upstairs to the public, I really don't see that happening simply because, since the house is now a museum and also, since it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, there cannot be any alterations done to the mansion.

Take Care,

Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:47 pm


I've been involved in local politics for a long time, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that ANYTHING can be done. Variances, changes in legal status (temporarily or otherwise), you name it. If EPE really wants to add a staircase and cut a new door onto the second floor from the back of the house, it can be done. I also predict that, eventually, it will be done. It may be in the next 5 may take place in 25 years, but it will happen.

Being listed in the National Register is only relevant if someone cares about the place listed. I think that a dwindling "original" fan base will make it necessary for EPE to up the ante and open the second floor in order to keep people interested and attract new visitors.

There's always the possibility, of course, that Lisa Marie or her descendants could decide to close Graceland to the public and live there.

Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:08 pm

cdnguy1964 wrote:Sorry to disppoint all of you but they will NEVER open the upper level at Graceland.

Two reasons why:

1) It is still used by the family as living quarters.

2) The stirway could not handle the 5000 guests per day who visit Graceland. There is no emergency exit in case of fire. will have to settle for what you have already seen..

1) It is? By who? I didn't know there was any family left?

Your view is a little narrow sighted.
Even if such a code exists, with regard to requiring a fire exist on the second floor, a stairwell outside the rear of the home could be added. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I think there's one there already.

They would obviously have to do some creative engineering to handle the traffic, but never say never.

Fri Jun 06, 2003 11:26 pm

I've read on alt.elvis.king that the rooms at the 2nd floor are either completely empty or used as storage. Only Elvis room should be more or less intact. Guys that worked there on the aircondition or something confirmed this....

Sat Jun 07, 2003 2:05 am

"cdnguy" - regarding your "reasons":

Reason #1 - gimme a break. For the time being, sentimentality is the most likely reason for Lisa Marie keeping the upstairs closed.

Reason #2 - the above posts have already discussed the structural issues concerning the staircase.

If EPE wants something, they are very innovative in finding ways to make it happen. Unless Graceland ever closes, ........... they will most definitely open up the upstairs (in some form) in the future.

I do agree with others, that, it isn't going to happen anytime "soon."

I really can't picture Lisa Marie (nor her children) ever wanting to actually "LIVE" 24/7 in the middle of the Ghetto ......... so they can sit on the porch at night and listen to all of the police sirens, cat calls from the street, and drive-by shootings ......................


Albert - the ng that you mention, IMO, reminds me of a glorified fan-club gathering .......... one big soap-opera. JMO.

...just a fan....

Sun Jun 08, 2003 2:35 am

Floor 2 policy does not include visitors in near future.

Storage and exit procedures have nothing to do with this.

It has everything to do with respect.

Quite simple if you have a real good thought about this

Sun Jun 08, 2003 2:56 am

"It has everything to do with respect.

Quite simple if you have a real good thought about this"

Of course it has to do with "respect", ........... at least for the time being.

$$$ ........... or ........... "respect" .............. hmmmm....... I wonder which EPE puts a higher priority on (in the end) ............. ? I think they will find a way to meet "both" concerns.

Time will tell, indeed.

...just a fan....