No savior has emerged to buy and preserve the home office where “The Colonel” — Tom Parker — made Elvis Presley a star as his manager and promoter. Now the old stone building in Madison is slated for demolition to make way for a car wash.
“My preference was always to have somebody that could preserve the property, but after four years on the market, I’m convinced there’s nobody out there that wants it,” said retired attorney Steve North, who ran his law firm from the building for about 20 years.
That’s the same message North shared in fall 2015 as he got a burst of free publicity for the property, when the nonprofit Historic Nashville Inc. named the office to its list of endangered places.
Since then, he said he hasn’t fielded an offer from anyone interested in preserving the building at 1215 S. Gallatin Road.
“But as a practical matter, unless you’ve got a specific economically feasible use for it, the land itself … is worth more without the building,” North said.
It’s nearly an acre, on a corner lot, along Gallatin Road — well-suited to the car wash company that has it under contract. The proposal is headed to a hearing next week with the Board of Zoning Appeals, as the future owners seek four variances. While widespread opposition is expected, North said the operators are likely to move ahead even if the variances are not granted.
“This is just something that will make it easier and perhaps a little less expensive to put their car wash on there,” he said. “They’ve spent a lot of money. They’ve done surveys. They’ve done environmental studies.”
Salvaging A Piece Of The Place
In a past life, Elvis’s empire — and memorabilia sales — emanated from here. And Elvis sightings were common when North was growing up nearby. So he said he sees the sentimental value.
“I do have feelings for the property,” he said. “It was a part of my growing up.”
According to the terms of the sale, North gets dibs on everything inside. He may save some items and then sell the antique light fixtures and cabinets, and the wood paneling and complete wet bar from the vintage basement.
“I guess I could take all of the stones and auction them off,” North said with a laugh, “but I don’t know that anybody would want to buy them.”