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HIWAY AMERICA -NEVERLAND RANCH, LOS OLIVOS CA

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Inside Neverland Ranch

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By Jonathan H

Editor’s Note: The post below was originally published in March of 2008. Since the tragic events last week, I felt compelled to write a follow-up. View the farewell post and the entire set of Neverland photos here.

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is up for auction next week. Bearings has gained access to the ranch, and has posted the images below.

As an aside, I personally believe Jackson is innocent of all charges. I speak as someone who has been on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. It’s a bit disconcerting to think that I stand in solidarity with Geraldo Rivera, but what can ya do?

Many images I am not posting, out of respect for Jackson’s privacy. What I do post are places that were largely seen by the public (or at least by hordes of kids who count it a privilege to have been on “the Ranch.”) Whether or not you believe he’s innocent, one can still appreciate the beauty of Jackson’s vision in creating such a place. None of us should ever lose our sense of wonder and amazement at the world, and I think Jackson truly wanted children to have this, largely because he never had it as a child himself.

Without further ado, here are the photos.

The Train Station on Neverland Ranch
The train station at Neverland Ranch, taken on Kodak T-Max 100 speed film. Taken using a Tachihara large format field camera.


Neverland Ferris Wheel
The ferris wheel – What I would give to have a ride on this puppy.

Neverland Carousel
The classic, 50-foot carousel. Each horse and character seemed to be unique.
Neverland Bumper Cars
The bumper car tent.
Neverland Statues - Bronze
Statues near the front gate with aspen behind.
Neverland Station Clock
The Neverland clock at the main train station. I believe the time was accurate.
Bumper Car Controls
Ride designed exclusively for Michael Jackson. These were the controls for the bumper cars.
Neverland Front Gate
The front gate of Neverland Ranch.
Lithograph of the Michael Jackson
A lithograph of Michael Jackson with children at the front gate.

More pictures at: http://www.terrastories.com/bearings/albums/album/72157603558879859/Neverland.html

Saying Goodbye to Neverland and Michael Jackson

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By Jonathan H

neverland-ranch-train-station-lf

I wanted to make this post, not simply to jump on the bandwagon of the media outpouring for Michael Jackson. I’m not here to judge his life or talk about his finances, or his troubled past, or the allegations, or even Bubbles. I’m writing this simply to tell a story. It’s a story that I didn’t really have the inclination to say before. Now that Michael’s “Ranch” no longer exists, and — rides dismantled — it simply stands as a bank-owned shadow of its former self, I wanted say a few things about my experience at Neverland, and the truth behind how I was able to get in.

In many ways, I feel this is sort of a confession. I never saw Neverland as an interesting place. At first, I didn’t understood its potential to tell a photographic story. As someone who finds significance in historic architecture, I neither saw Neverland as significant, nor historic. All of that changed.

In December of 2007, I was on my way down to Ventura for the Holidays. I had taken multiple trips down the 101 before. Each trip, I made it a point tostop at a roadside abandonment to photograph at night. As it invariably is every December, just prior to Christmas, the radios are filled with the repetitious yuletide jingles of yore. Usually, the six-hour drive is bearable if I switch from one station to the next – between commercials. This particular drive down, I grew weary of the music. I’m not exactly sure why Michael came to mind. Part of it probably had to do with the silence and the habit of mine to imagine music in my head in such moments. It’s also possible that I passed the off-ramp for Los Olivos and thought of the place, only to think of it more and more. Whatever it was, the idea of then-abandoned Neverland began to roll around in my mind. The radio was off, and I began mentally turning over rocks in the process. What did Neverland mean about Michael? Then the big one loomed: Why couldn’t Neverland be “historic” in my mind?

I must admit, I suffer from the myopic view, like most historians — amateur or otherwise — that history must always be equated with old. That’s why Graceland was “history” to me, but Neverland never would be — at least not until it was gone. Hours passed, and the desire to see the inside of Neverland grew stronger. I had essentially exhausted all other photographic possibilities down the 101, and I knew this opportunity wouldn’t last long. Then, a day before I began the drive back up to San Francisco, I exited a theater to find what seemed like snow falling on me. I immediately realized they were large flakes of ash from a fire nearby. The sky was dark and orange. It was an eerie, foreboding signal, or at least that’s what I made it out to be. I needed to photograph Neverland, or else — and I had a strong feeling — it would all go to ashes without proper documentation.

Neverland EntranceOnce it was decided, there was no convincing me otherwise. Still, I thought more than once of giving it up altogether and to continue driving North. I tried to convince myself that I had trespassed many times before at other locations — but the implications had never really bothered me until I considered walking into Michael’s private park. As I write this, I still try to justify my actions by thinking how much Michael truly wanted to share his world. It was a genuine wish of his for everyone to understand things the way he did. And the world largely didn’t understand what he was trying to communicate with Neverland, so he abandoned it.

People have asked me over the past year what it felt like to be in Neverland at night, alone. I didn’t want to say anything except that it was the most surreal and incredible experience of my life. Others asked me how I felt about Michael, after seeing Neverland, but I couldn’t completely answer that. I was withholding judgement. Maybe, like all battle-bruised humans, I had the sneaking suspicion that all of my best feelings about the man would be shattered when another allegation would arise. But it never happened, just as I suspected, because everything I saw at the Ranch indicated to me that he was an innocent man.

The night I drove up to the front gates, the security guard was there, sitting in a well-lit pillbox on the side of the road. Neverland itself is up the road about 400 yards from the front gate. It happened to be a dark night. In fact, there was a new moon, and the sky was clear of any clouds. Out in Los Olivos, the stars shone brightly, and there was little light pollution in the atmosphere. I was sure to maintain my speed as I passed the guard, and I drove up the road to small parking area east of the park. The walk to Neverland was about a half-mile through rolling hills in pitch black conditions. I carried a GPS, set to its dimmest level, and continued on a straight click, towards the North end of the park.

neverland-fairgrounds

I came upon a back road that seemed to have been a utility road for the animal caretakers. By then, all of the animals were gone, save a few dogs in the old aviary. Bursting out from the branches of valley oak, I found myself in a miniature city. I had emerged right at the petting zoo. From there, my adventure began.

neverland-at-nightStrangely enough, the moment I entered, a howling wind spread across the valley. Trees cracked their massive arms and fell; I could hear the Ferris Wheel creaking; the rope drawbridge waved wild and unpredictable. When I walked up to the deserted bumper car tent, the wind had become so strong, that it was tearing the red, canvas roof. It’s fortunate that the wind also allowed me to roam freely around the park without a single bark from the nearby dogs.

In the midst of all of this wind, the only static elements of Neverland were the frozen, bronze faces of the myriad statues that dotted the grounds. The children’s smiles almost seemed sad, in the context; and other than the occasional jolt of fear that hit me when I encountered a new frozen figure (thinking it was a real person), these statues were the subjects that I found my camera most drawn to. The rides themselves could have been found on any county fair in any state in the country. But it was the psyche of Michael Jackson that drew my curiosity. The statues were a conduit; they were my artifacts to catalog before the time of their eventual liquidation arrived.

I took two more trips to Neverland, each time with close friends. In all, I captured hundreds of photographs of the park. Many of these photographs, I will never publish. Each trip became progressively more bittersweet. I don’t really have any regrets about doing what I did, but if there is one thing I wish I had done at Neverland, it would have been to ride down the Super Slide; I think MJ would have liked that, and I’m sure the friends with me on my final trip would have turned it into a photo shoot.

family-portrait

Despite how kitschy it all seemed; despite the controversy; and the fact that I could only see Neverland from one perspective (that of night),  the times I spent at Neverland are among the most memorable moments of my life. Neverland allowed me to escape the cynical, xenophobic world of a country mired in war, terrorism, and daily reports of suicide bombers.  They may have been only a few nights of escapism, at best, but they allowed me to put myself in the shoes of Michael — moon walking my own way among the soon-to-end dreamscape of a truly magnanimous soul. May you rest in peace, Michael; your dream will live on.

Additional Neverland Sets

An Architecture Student Couldn’t Afford Housing, So He Put His Degree to Use And Built Something Amazing

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Read more: http://capitalismisfreedom.com/architecture-student-makes-house-out-of-bus/#ixzz3VnDh1I94

HIWAY AMERICA -‘Elfureidis’ Montecito, Ca. The Scarface Mansion is Up for Sale

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Cool Material

The Scarface Mansion is Up for Sale

You might not know this (we didn’t), but Tony Montana’s Scarface mansion has a name. The estate, known as “El Fureidis” and actually located in Montecito, California, recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation so that the 10-acre ………. continue reading

SCARFACE-THE BEST PARTS

https://youtu.be/2W628Z9vspk

Kat O’Sullivan Transforms Her Run-down New York Home Into A Psychedelic Retreat

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Kat O’Sullivan Transforms Her Run-down New York Home Into  A Psychedelic Retreat

Kat O’Sullivan Transforms Her Run-down New York Home Into

A Psychedelic Retreat

Kat O'Sullivan- InstallationKat O'Sullivan- InstallationKat O'Sullivan- InstallationKat O'Sullivan- Installation

Artist Kat O’Sullivan spent a large amount of time dazzling up her home in upstate New York to be the psychedelic retreat she had always dreamed of. This run-down 1840s residence that she recently purchased is no longer a run of the mill home! O’Sullivan, who specializes in adding a dash of color to nearly everything she encounters, lit her home up like a rainbow. Working with her partner Mason Brown, they added oddly shaped windows and a unique color scheme. The interior, which is not finished yet, will surely prove to be something entirely unique. The house looks like a candy colored structure out of a fairy tale. As O’Sullivan said on her website:

“This is our crazy home, Calico, the House That Sweaters Built! It’s been quite a renovation journey to get it to its psychedelic rainbow state. This is just the first coat. It will only get weirder.”

That is bound to be an understatement. We can’t wait to see what you do with it! (Excerpt from Site)

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Parrot Missing For 4 Years Comes Home Speaking Spanish

Posted: 10/13/2014 3:00 pm EDT Updated: 10/13/2014 3:00 pm EDT
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TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner — and the bird now speaks Spanish.

The Daily Breeze reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1qU5dU3) the reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook the African gray parrot for her own missing bird.

Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s microchip to Darren Chick, a Brit who lives in Torrance.

Little is known about Nigel’s whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird’s British accent is gone and it now speaks Spanish.

It’s the fifth parrot reunion facilitated by Micco, who has been running ads for her own missing bird for nine months.

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Information from: Daily Breeze, http://www.dailybreeze.com

HIWAY AMERICA – Titan Missile Silo, Topeka Kansas

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SUBTERRA CASTLE – A SILO MISSILE HOME

Titan Missile Silo

 

Missile Silo Map

 

 

Tunnel to the front door of the command bunker home.

Subterra Castle: Missile Silo Home

Field review by the editors.

Shawnee County,Kansas

Ed Peden finally got his garage door to open. It took him 25 years, but it weighs 47 tons, and the vehicle that was parked behind it was a 78-foot-long Atlas E missile, topped with an atomic bomb. The door was designed to withstand the blast from a nuclear explosion.

Ed’s door, and his home, are in an abandoned underground missile launch complex roughly 25 miles outside of Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife Dianna were the first people to turn one of these Cold War doomsday bunkers into a livable home, and they now run a business helping others to do the same. It cost Uncle Sam $4 million to build this place; Ed bought it for $40,000. But it needed some work.

Ed Peden in his missile launch complex.

“The gunk I hauled out of here in wheelbarrows was incredible,” Ed tells us. “Hundreds of wheelbarrows of crap. The sheet rock had melted onto the floor.” It had dissolved because the entire complex was flooded with up to nine feet of water. Ed first toured his future home in a canoe.

The Pedens now call their place “Subterra Castle,” and it looks nothing like the abandoned hellhole Ed bought in 1982.

To the south is the vast missile launch bay, now empty, with its 18-inch-thick concrete walls, three-foot-thick concrete floors, and balky garage door. “It makes an excellent shop,” Ed tells us, “but it caused me to collect far too much useless junk.”

The massive powered door Ed restored to working condition.

A large square hole in the floor leads to a gently sloping “flame pit” the size of a freeway tunnel. It directed the launch inferno from the missile down to a hillside exhaust port. We suggest to Ed that it would make a good skate park, and his eyes light up. “Yes! Skateboarders!” he cries, beaming like a pleased schoolteacher — which is what he was when he bought this place — “You captured that concept quickly!”

Jutting north from the launch bay is a 120-foot-long tunnel of steel and concrete. It leads to the other half of the Peden home, the former launch control center, which is where Ed and Dianna live. “Down here it’s a little more pleasant,” Ed says as he opens a simple wood door with a tiny knocker.

The drum circle room, after a reality show makeover.

Beyond — is a warm cocoon of good vibes and New Age ambience. The Cold War vanishes, replaced with natural fibers, rustic wood, rattan, rugs, tapestries, and stained glass. Incense flavors the air; native flutes trill softly over hidden loudspeakers. Ed explains that his home attempts to counter the “heavy energy” of the missile silo, and that he views it as “a transformational symbol.”

“I’m really kind of a peacenik from the sixties,” he confesses with a sheepish grin. Subterra Castle can be seen as the Earth Children flipping the bird to the military-industrial complex — or something similarly profound. To us, it’s just amazing. Who wouldn’t want to live in a hole in the ground when it can be this much fun?

Ed shows us all the rooms converted to make the space livable — a large eat-in kitchen, home offices, a laundry room and bathrooms. Then he takes us back to what he calls “the very best, favorite, favorite room” in the whole underground warren — the former diesel generator room, a huge space that Ed and Dianna have converted into a drum circle room. “Sometimes we’ll have 20, 25 people playing the drums and shakers, and then sitting and chatting for a while,” Ed tells us. In fact, when we called to confirm our visit the previous evening, Dianna told us that Ed was otherwise occupied. He was back in the drum circle room, smackin’ the rawhide or playing one of his native flutes.

Hippie dippy digs for overnight lodgers.

Ed calls these old launch complexes “20th century castles,” equating them to the medieval castles of Europe, and has in fact built castle towers over the old escape hatches of his underground home. But that decision was practical as well as thematic; the hatches were leaking and the towers keep the water out. Also on the property, inside the intruder detection perimeter and within view of the battlements, is a sweat lodge, a stone circle, and a fire walking pit.

Ed and Dianna in front of Subterra Castle.

One gets the sense that Ed stresses the castle metaphor to sell properties to the security-minded (and his video system keeps tabs on various locations, including the front gate). But his heart remains in the drum circle room.

“It’s a very strange project that we’ve done here,” he tells us. “It’s been a life-defining thing for Dianna and I. And we are very proud of it, and we think there’s kind of a message in it. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to ever, ever have stumbled onto such a thing.”

And then the practical Ed creeps back. “I don’t know what it’s gonna be like to get old out here,” he says. “I’ve got to climb twenty feet up to change the light bulbs in the missile bay.”

Also, if you need any further evidence that our species is doomed, take a look at the quantity of missile types we’ve developed. We are idiots

Engineer Spends $220,000 Upcycling A Retired Boeing 727 Into A Home In The Woods

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The plane looks just like an ordinary jetliner, complete with wings and landing gear, except that it rests on pillars. However, the inside of this unusual home is quite a different picture. The plane’s interior has been changed quite significantly to make as much free living space as possible out of its 1,066 square feet. However, Campbell plans to improve the airplane from the inside with features like a working lavatory, LED lighting, and seating.

If you’re interested in more information on this recycled airplane home, go visit Campbell’s website, where he explains his beautiful project in great detail.

More info: Website (h/t: huffpost)

old-boeing-727-recycled-plane-home-bruce-campbell-22

Still from the video by Even Quach

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Image credits: John Brecher

Retirement into an aerospace class castle should be every jetliner’s constructive fate. They should never be mindlessly scrapped” – said Bruce Campbell, the aircraft’s owner (and resident).

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Image credits: John Brecher

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Image credits: John Brecher

Shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste, and a profound failure of human imagination.

old-boeing-727-recycled-plane-home-bruce-campbell-20

Still from the video by Even Quach

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Still from the video by Even Quach

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Image credits: John Brecher

Jetliners are masterful works of aerospace science, and their superlative engineering grace is unmatched by any other structures people can live within.

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Image credits: John Brecher

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Still from the video by Even Quach

They’re incredibly strong, durable, and long lived. And they easily withstand any earthquake or storm. Their interior is easy to keep immaculately clean because they are sealed pressure canisters.

old-boeing-727-recycled-plane-home-bruce-campbell-17

Image credits: Airplane Home

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Image credits: John Brecher

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Image credits: Even Quach

You need to acquire two things: An airliner, and suitable land to host it.

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Image credits: John Brecher

Then you need to transport your airliner to your land. That’s the most daunting challenge.

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Image credits: Airplane Home

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Image credits: John Brecher

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Image credits: John Brecher

Brooklyn Man Upcycles a Dumpster, Beats the System

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Brooklyn Man Upcycles a Dumpster, Beats the System

Brooklyn Man Upcycles a Dumpster, Beats the System

Posted by Yasha Wallin on August 15, 2013 at 3:00 AM

In New York City, if your apartment is larger than 300 square feet, then you’ve made it. The city is notorious for big rents and small spaces. That may be precisely why Brooklyn-based artist Gregory Kloehn took matters into his own hands when he purchased a dumpster for $2,000, and turned it into the most creative garbage container you’ve ever seen. The green-hued living space took Kloehn six months to trick out with a toilet, stove, sink, and a roof that can double as a deck for seating. It also has a barbecue, a mini bar, and a shower that sticks off the side of the dumpster and gives outdoor showering a whole new meaning.

Not only does this self-contained green living space have all the amenities of a regular apartment, but it’s also mobile, allowing Kloehn to roll it to new locations around Brooklyn when he needs a change of scenery. The whole thing is pretty quirky, yes, but as rents continue to rise in Brooklyn and Manhattan, kudos to Kloehn for finding a creative way to beat the system.

HIWAY AMERICA -THE ELVIS HOME GRACELAND, MEMPHIS,TENNESSEE

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TAKE THE 360• TOUR BELOW
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Graceland

Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

  • Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee that was home to Elvis Presley. Wikipedia
    Address: 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116

  • Area: 14 acres (6 ha)

  • Architectural styles: Colonial Revival architecture, Classical Revival

    Graceland Virtual Tours

    Graceland takes you on a panoramic 360° view of Elvis Presley’s home. See where Elvis lived, relaxed and spent time with his friends and family. Take a look at the mansion from the entrance and step inside the foyer, the famous jungle room, and the racquetball trophy room to walk the same footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Turn your virtual experience into a live one by visiting Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis. For a free Graceland online travel planner, visit Elvis.com/Graceland.

    Exterior of Graceland Mansion Elvis fans can often be seen posing for photographs at the front entrance of the mansion. As the front door swings open, guests are able to enter the private world of a rock legend. Elvis loved Graceland and always enjoyed showing it off and entertaining friends and family there.             The home welcomes over 600,000 visitors a year and holds countless memories for the many friends, fans and family whose lives he touched.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Mansion Foyer The foyer is where special guests were greeted and shown to the living room where they would wait for Elvis to come down the stairs from his private area upstairs. Elvis would often entertain his guests on his 15-foot white sofa inside the living room. At the far end of the living room is the entrance into the music room where Elvis enjoyed singing and playing piano to his favorite gospel and R&B songs. Across the foyer from the living room – is the dining room where Elvis and his family would enjoy down-home Southern cooking for their evening meals. These rooms hosted many large gatherings and is where Elvis enjoyed the company of his friends and family.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Mansion Jungle Room             One of Elvis’ favorite hangouts was the “Jungle Room.” The room is known for its Polynesian feel and exotically carved wood. In the early 1960s, during one of Elvis’ home improvements, it was added to the back of the house. Elvis referred to the room as the den and later added the eccentric furniture and shag carpet reminiscent of Hawaii- one of Elvis’ favorite places to vacation. In 1976, the room was transformed into a recording studio for a series of all-night sessions that later became the album called “From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.” The faux fur upholstery and green shag carpet on the floor and the ceiling completes the wild look and ’70s feel – making this room an Elvis fan favorite.
    Take the 360° tour!
    Racquetball Building             The racquetball building was built in 1975 and houses a large display of Elvis’ awards and accomplishments. The court is currently used to display all of his posthumous awards and honors. Several of his stage costumes are featured including his Aztec and American Eagle jumpsuit. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide.
    I dedicate this song to my late mum who loved Elvis’s love songs I bought her this single when I was a teenager in London
    “I  CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU” FROM THE MOVIE BLUE HAWAII

http://youtu.be/cqhMopq5r6I

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Elvis Presley Biography
Elvis PresleyThe incredible Elvis life story began when Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.

Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.

In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.

His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.

If you enjoyed this Elvis biography, check out our fun, interactive walk through Elvis’ life story with the 75 years of Elvis Timeline, developed for Elvis’ 75th Birthday Celebration.

HIWAY AMERICA-THE DOME HOUSE-PENSACOLA FLORIDA

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IMGP2391-150x150224259_v1Dome of a Home
The Dome of a Home is an incredible monument of dome design and construction. Located on Pensacola Beach, Florida, this 6,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor living space provides spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound.
Built by Mark and Valerie Sigler, this amazing home features advanced construction and design techniques to help defend against the forces of nature.
Enjoy the articles detailing the construction of the Dome of a Home, as well as the many photos which provide an interesting look into the

creation of this futuristic home.

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