“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Lauderdale Courts / Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts

Lauderdale Courts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 11, 2015
1. Lauderdale Courts Marker
Lauderdale Courts
Built in 1936 by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Lauderdale Courts was one of the first federal housing projects in the nation. It replaced substandard housing with clean, modern dwellings for the poor. The Courts were built along property adjoining Bayou Gayoso, which had been lined in concrete and covered by the extension of Lauderdale Street. Designed in the Georgian Revival style, the Courts contained 449 apartments in buildings one to three stories high. Part of Market Street was converted to green space. Memphis Housing Authority (MHA) selected families based upon financial need. Conforming to the segregation laws at the time, only white families were considered for residency. In 2000, MHA renovated the Courts into mixed-income housing under the Hope VI program and renamed it as Uptown Square.

Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts
Elvis Presley and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, lived at 185 Winchester, Apt. 328, from October 1949 to January 1953. Former residents remember foremost that Elvis liked to sing and play guitar. He practiced in the basement and performed for neighbors on the front steps of his building. Elvis volunteered to sing at teenage dances in the Recreation Center. Johnny Burnett, founder of the Rock n' Roll Trio, sometimes refused to

Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 11, 2015
2. Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts Marker
let Elvis perform. The Presleys moved in 1953 because their income exceeded the level allowed for project residents. Bill Black also lived in the Courts, but did not meet Elvis until they recorded together at Sun Records in 1954. For three years Black and Scotty Moore were Elvis' original band members.
Erected 2015 by Shelby County Historical Commission.
Location. 35° 9.127′ N, 90° 2.825′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of North 3rd Street (Tennessee Route 14) and Winchester Avenue, on the right when traveling north on North 3rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: North 3rd Street, Memphis TN 38105, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Mary's Catholic Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Tavern (approx. 0.2 miles away); Congregation B'Nai Israel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Josiah T. Settle (approx. ¼ mile away); Shelby County Archives and Hall of Records / Former Criminal Courts Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Former Criminal Courts Building (approx.
Preparing to unveil the marker. image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 11, 2015
3. Preparing to unveil the marker.
Jimmy Ogle, Shelby County Historian and Mike Freeman, Author and Historian, prepare to unveil the marker.
¼ mile away); First Memphis Waterfront (approx. ¼ mile away); Poplar Tunes / One-Stop Shop (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .
1. Elvis’ Teenage Home. “Scheduled for the wrecking ball in the mid-nineties, Elvis’ teenage home was saved by the efforts of fans, journalists, preservation groups, the City of Memphis and Memphis developers. Lauderdale Courts, now renamed Uptown Square, is being renovated to become one of Downtown’ Memphis’ hippest addresses.” (Submitted on August 15, 2015.) 

2. Video: Lauderdale Courts, Elvis' zu Hause von 1949-53.
(Submitted on August 15, 2015.) 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public Work
Credits. This page was last revised on November 26, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 603 times since then and 2 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week August 16, 2015. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 11, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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