If you didn't get tickets to Michael Jackson's memorial at the Staples Center, the owner of Elvis Presley's former home in Palm Springs is inviting you over to watch it at his place. "It just seems fitting -- pay respects for the King of Pop at the home of the King of Rock-n-Roll," owner Reno Fontana tells ABC7. The Fontanas aren't charging admission, but if you want to go, you'll have to do your homework--they're asking anyone interested to send a 100-word essay to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can pick the best ones. No topic is specified, but we think you should mention Michael Jackson or Elvis.
Albert Frey, a founder of desert modernism who is probably best known for the "flying wedge" roof over the Tramway Gas Station in Palm Springs, designed the house nicknamed "Graceland West." It was built for the Jergens family (of lotion fame and fortune) in the late 1940s, and was owned by the McDonald family (founders of the eponymous burger chain) before Elvis bought it in 1970 for $85,000. Since the King's death, Frankie Valli and a Japanese businessman have owned the house. Fontana, his wife, and a partner bought it in 2003 for $1.25 million. According to the Wall Street Journal, they listed the house a year ago for $17 million, but ABC7 says today they're only looking for a partner to put in $8 million. The house Frey built was about 3,500 square feet, the current structure is 5,500 square feet. Elvis added an entertainment room and a bedroom. If you don't make it into the memorial-watching, the Fontanas also offer tours for a fee. [Photos via Ron's Log]
· Owner of Elvis home invites Jackson fans [ABC7]
· Don't Stop Till You Get Enough: Staples Center Jackson Tribute On [Curbed LA]
· Elvis Presley House [Ron's Log]
· Former Elvis Estate for Sale in Palm Springs [Wall Street Journal]
· Fried Sandwich Party Pad: 'Graceland West' For Sale [Curbed LA]
· Contact Us [Elvis Presley Estate]