The Gates of Graceland

One of the most iconic features of Elvis Presley’s Graceland isn’t even in the home: it’s the gates of Graceland.

Elvis fans from all over the world travel to Memphis to see the mansion, with its famous Jungle Room, totally rock ‘n’ roll TV and pool rooms, its spacious yard and impressive car collection. But the gates of Graceland are instantly recognizable, with their one-of-a-kind sheet music design.

The gates of Graceland were installed in 1957, the same year Elvis purchased the home.

The gates of Graceland were installed in 1957, the same year Elvis purchased the home.

Fans tour the mansion, of course, but part of the Graceland experience also means snapping a photo of the gates -or in front of the gates – and signing the wall.

Elvis purchased Graceland on March 25, 1957, and he wasted no time turning it into his own castle. In fact, the gates were installed less than a month later, on April 22.

The Graceland Archives have an invoice from Tennessee Fabricating Company for the gate at $1,339.00 in April 1957.  There are also invoices and checks  for Dillard Door Company for the gate operators, which includes three car controls.

This check to Dillard Door is a partial payment for the gates.

This check to Dillard Door is a partial payment for the gates.

This is an invoice from Tennessee Fabricating Company for Graceland's gates.

This is an invoice from Tennessee Fabricating Company for Graceland’s gates.

Fans would often line up and hope to catch the world’s most famous entertainer leave or enter those gates. Sometimes he’d sign autographs from behind them, and fans could see him and his family horseback riding on the Graceland property.

Elvis signs autographs for fans who have gathered at his gates.

Elvis signs autographs for fans who have gathered at his gates.

Today, the gates still serve their original purpose: to protect the rock ‘n’ roll mansion of Elvis Presley, and they still look as gorgeous as ever. Fans snap selfies in front of the gate, and take a minute to leave a personal message to Elvis on the wall. Fans from across the world have left heartfelt messages over the years.

Elvis fans and participants in the Elvis Presley 5K take a break to snap a selfie in front of the gates.

Elvis fans and participants in the Elvis Presley 5K take a break to snap a selfie in front of the gates.

An Elvis fan leaves a message on the wall at Graceland.

An Elvis fan leaves a message on the wall at Graceland.

The gates of Graceland have stood the test of time, and fans love this unique feature of the King’s castle.

Have you left a message on the wall, or taken your picture at the gates? If so, tag us on Twitter or Instagram – we’re @VisitGraceland on both – or use the hashtag #GracelandGates. You could be featured on Graceland.com!

A few messages left on the wall at Graceland.

A few messages left on the wall at Graceland.


35 Comments

  1. barbara griffith

    i love those gates, i love graceland n elvis with all my heart

    • Mona Osborn

      I have been to Graceland 5 times and I cannot wait to go back which will be this summer. I see something different each time and I will never get tired of going there . I have been an Elvis fan since I was a young girl.

    • anna patrizia caminati

      Yes i love Graceland

  2. Clementine

    Great article and I love the pictures too! Have several personal pics at the gates! I have a personal story of the gates…after having my son take a picture of me standing in front of the right gate….I had put my purse on the ground for the pic…and then promptly walked off with my son to visit Elvis’ gravesite. Half-way up the hill I remembered that I had walked off without my purse…never ran so fast in my life!! Back to the gates, we flew and TYVM! the purse was still where I had left it! The guard at the gate said to me, as I grabbed my purse, “It’s a good thing you showed up ma’am, I was just getting ready to call the ‘Bomb Squad’!! I smiled and often wonder if he was serious, or just kidding me??? My own great ‘Gates of Graceland’ story! Love it! TCB!

  3. John Montgomery

    Elvis never forgot where he came from and that is what made him great then and now after all this time. Most singers of the time have been forgotten.
    My aunt told me a story about how she meat Elvis, but this was before he made it big. It was in a honky-tonk he came up to her and ask her to dance, after the dance she ask him what his name was and he said my name is Elvis, so he sat down and they talk for a little.
    This is my greatest memory I have of Elvis. THE KING OF ROCK n ROLL

  4. May you live on in our hearts, and let new generation get to know some real history of Rock and Roll. Love ya

  5. I visited Graceland many many years ago, in 1979, with my then husband. Funny how the gates seem much bigger in pictures than I remember them. As a matter of fact, the first place we headed as soon as we got the Memphis, was Graceland, before we even looked for a room. We drove right past Graceland, even though we were looking for it. It seemed to be just in the middle of everything. In my mind, I thought it would be out in the middle of nowhere. Anyhow, I signed the wall back then, but I am sure it has been written over many times by now. I would love to be able to find it after all these years. Wonderful memories of my first and only trip to Memphis. I am in Canada, and hopefully will get back some day.

  6. my name is indeed on the gate :)

  7. Letitia Ryan

    The Gates of Graceland – what a fantastic topic of discussion and I love the pics. I was fortunate enough to get to stand next those very special gates and put my little message on the wall when I visited Graceland in 2012. I will never forget how I felt when we first drove through those gates up the kings castle.

  8. Kathleen

    My frist time at Graceland was back in 1979, I meet Mr. Harold Loyd, I do rember Mr. Loyd was a very nice man, I cry when I heard that Mr Loyd pass-away, I do miss him, he was a great man

  9. I recall the first time I saw the Gates of Graceland in 1982. I was ten years old & on a trip with a friend and her family. We decided to see Graceland as part of a 7 day road trip. I have many memories!!! The most prominent are two, 1. Seeing the gates & going through them like walking into my version of Heaven & 2. Sitting for a photo in the pink Jeep. Back then the cars were under the carport. I’ve lost the photos from that trip in Huricane Katrina. But the memories are vivid & clear.

    I plan to bring my 18 month old Goddaughter next month to see Graceland. For the past year she has been a HUGE fan… Singing & dancing. I can’t wait to see her face at “Bay-Bay-Baby’s House” (that’s what she calls Elvis, Bay-Bay-Baby)

  10. Judy Lindley

    In 1997 another Elvis Fan Friend & I came to Graceland & we stayed @ Heartbreak Hotel. We went & ate @ Elvis Memphis Restaurant & we had to get a cab back to Graceland. As we approached the wall the cab driver ask had we signed the wall yet & we told him no. so he stopped by the wall turned off the meter on the cab & gave us a magic marker to sign the wall. That was so nice of him. He was driving a cab for he was from another city & his child was in the hospital there. An unforgettable day.

  11. Sandy stein

    That is so awesome words can’t say

  12. Lesly Rush

    My name is on the wall several times for each of my four visits. Yes I have my photo taken in front of the gates just like Elvis. My cousin and I make sure that on each visit we are out the front before and after the gates close with our pens. Oh what a lovely place to visit. It just gets better each time. Lesly. Australia

  13. mary bringoli

    I visted graceland in 1978 I have a picture of myself and my mom and Uncle jesse (Elvis’ s Uncle). He was so nice and friendly. I also signed the wall. I have been back three more times and each time is as exciting as the first time. The garden is so beautiful and peaceful. ELVIS REST IN PEACE. ALWAYS ON OUR MINDS
    AND NEVER FORGOTTEN.

  14. Iwas at Graceland Nov.30.2006 Iwill never forget it.I also signed my name on the wall.

  15. barry southall

    In 2008 my future wife julie and myself walked through the gates and were married at the chapel in the woods .The 12th of july 2008 .Then on the sunday it was my 50th birthday .We came back for a tour of the mansion .just fantastic.

  16. Shirley Roemer

    I was blessed to pass thru those beautiful gates twice…what a feeling you get!..you can’t describe it! So many emotions going on. But I will say it’s one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been..if I could live there, I’d do it in the blink of an eye because you DO feel ELVIS there. And I will return.

  17. june biber

    my cousin and I have been to graceland in 2008 2011 2014 and hope to go back in 2017 what a wonderful feeling you get when you go up the drive way you have the feeling Elvis is in the house awesome place best in the world to visit we stayed at heartbreak hotel great staff very friendly fantastic place to stay LOVE ELVIS forever

  18. My parents and I were at Graceland about 2 weeks before Elvis passed away…..through those gates we saw Lisa Marie run down the green lawn with a friend of hers. I’ll never forget that moment as it was one of my mother’s most favorite vacations.

  19. The gates are awesome just like the mansion. I love Graceland

  20. yes we have had the pic taken in front of gates

  21. rob cole

    My wife and I visited August2014 as a 50th birthday treat.We both spoke after of how walking into Graceland we felt of how homely it felt.This we feel is because of the man who made it his home.I became a fan when the 40 greatest was released in England Ithink I was 8yrs.To visit at 50 was a dream come true.Thankyou the Presley family for making it possible and for keeping the memories alive x

  22. roberto

    super super super for ever elvis presley

  23. Jack G. Stevens

    I took my mom there it was in 1990. You no i didn’t write message on wall or get pictures of the gates. I really was going to didn’t maybe someday I’ll get back there who knows could be with my knew girl friend or maybe my wife. When went through tour it was great experience

  24. It doesn’t matter the age. From young to old, Elvis is for everyone. And you will always want to go back for more. I, personally, love visiting Graceland and staying at the Heart Break Hotel. I love very thing about it!!!!

  25. Jennifer

    We just took our 11 year old daughter on March 12,2015. She has been a fan since she was 2 years old and is still a die hard fan. We loved it. A tour that they said should of taken us 2 to 3 hours, took us over 7 hours. Our daughter wanted to make sure she covered every part, so the memory would remain with her forever.

  26. My boyfriend and I were just there on our way back to Canada.I have always wanted to go as I have always been a fan. It was amazing and I would like to go back someday. I will be 65 in a few weeks so I am so glad I got to go this yr. Our picture was taken before we got on the shuttle bus and after the tour it was give to us when we got off the shuttle. Love the pic and am framing it. So happy.

  27. I visited Gracelands for my 50th birthday last year. Have my name on the wall and will never forget that first siting of the gates. Its a feeling I ll take with me till the day I die. Going back in 2017 to get wed there amazing place to be.

  28. StephenS

    No place like it.

  29. Yvonne Hart

    I visited Graceland for elvis 80th birthday 8th January 2015. Had several photos taken in front of those beautiful gates. Walking up the driveway and seeing the wonderful Christmas nativity then walking through Elvis’ front door was the most amazing feeling to be in his home and walk where he used to was beyond belief. It is such a welcoming home full of peacefulness and love. I hope I will be able to come back and visit again I loved every moment I Love Elvis. Thanks to Priscilla Lisa Marie and all those who look after the home he loved so much. Eve Hereford England Xxx

  30. Barbara Singleton

    I’m originally from England and my mum was/is a huge Elvis fan. She had been saving up for many years in the hope she would one day be able to afford to travel to the USA to see Elvis perform live, as he never made it to England. However, that was not to be. In 1981 she finally had enough money to take us both to Memphis with the British fan club. A dream come true but with one important person missing of course. I can remember when I first saw those amazing gates at the age of 14 and how overwhelmed I was with everything. It felt strange writing on the wall as I’d been brought up not to graffiti, but it was obviously OK. I was lucky enough to go back to Memphis in 1982 and 1984 with the fan club, and in 2005 I took my own girls to visit. I am very excited to be visiting for the 5th time with my partner Johnny, who also loves Elvis’ music. Cannot wait until August 2016!!!

  31. Hamilton Marin Cerreti

    I have my photograph in front these iconic gates

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