ELVIS IN THE PROJECTS
A public housing development built in 1938 under President Franklin Roosevelt's WPA, Lauderdale Courts was one of the first U.S. public housing projects. From September 1949 to January 1953 Elvis Presley and his parents lived in 185 Winchester, #328 at Lauderdale Courts. The Courts proved to be a pivotal place for Elvis. For it was from here that a shy Elvis would practice his guitar in the basement laundry room and would also meet and play with other musicians who lived in The Courts. To be eligible for Memphis Housing Authority at the time, a family's combined income could not exceed $3,000 per year. The Presleys paid $35 a month rent. At the time they moved in, there was no air-conditioning and only radiator heat. Elvis would garner the affirmation of friends and neighbors as he performed in the wonderfully designed communal courtyards and mall of Lauderdale Courts.