New Memphis Visitor Center To Be Built Near Graceland

Following is a press release from the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau: All Shook Up in Whitehaven Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Breaks Ground on a New Visitor Center in Whitehaven The gates to Graceland will no longer be the only musical welcome for visitors heading to Whitehaven on I-55. The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau is breaking ground on a new gateway project and full service visitor center at the corner of Elvis Presley and Brooks Road on August 12. In addition to providing information to Graceland visitors and Memphis tourists, the 3,286 square-foot building will also pay homage to many Memphis music icons. “The Whitehaven Visitor Center will be located on a street that is home to the second most visited house in the country, Graceland,” Councilwoman TaJuan Stout Mitchell says. “In addition to providing information to visitors, the center will also address a gateway beautification project, and I am committed to insuring that all Memphis gateways are attractive entrances to our communities. This project is quite an achievement for our community and our city." According to Councilwoman Mitchell, while she was campaigning in 1999, a citizen suggested using the site at Elvis Presley and Brooks Road as a visitor information center. Today, that wish has become a reality through the efforts of Kevin Kane, the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Memphis. “The Memphis CVB’s long-term objective has always been to expand our visitor service opportunities. This location is ideal because of its strategic positioning to the Graceland area and its visitors. We hope to extend the visitors length of stay in the Memphis area by showcasing our unique amenities to an audience that has not always been accessible,” says Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. Archimania and Self Tucker Architects, Inc. designed the building as a symbol of the musical spirit of Memphis. The billboard-type roof will be laced with images of artists who have recorded albums in Memphis. Retail items and Memphis collectibles will also be available in the building. Construction will be completed by summer 2004. “Many millions of visitors have crossed this threshold to Whitehaven and Graceland. Now the millions yet to come will be greeted and welcomed to our community in grand Memphis style! Our heartfelt thanks to the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau!” says Jack Soden, CEO, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. GROUNDBREAKING Date: August 12, 2003 Time: 10:00 AM Location: Southwest corner of Elvis Presley and Brooks Road, 3205 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Source: EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises / Updated: Aug 8, 2003 
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Robert Nelson (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2003report abuse
To say this project is "ground breaking" is an understatement. Many Elvis fans have knowledge regarding some of this history because for one example as we all know Elvis recorded in at least three studio locations in Memphis (the famous Sun Studios, American Sound Studios and Stax Record Studios). I hope the planners will invest money in finding, restoring and revealing more archives involving their most famous citizen in relation to American Sound and Stax.
I hope they will also showcase more detailed archive about Sam Phillips amazing studio works from 1950 leading up to the Elvis era. W.C. Handy is another which springs to mind whom is deserved of broader showcase, and there are countless number of other musicians whom influenced the Memphis music scene. I don't have to type the names here as many readers are familiar with their names. When the doors open I anticipate this project will be simply amazing. Good luck to all involved.

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