From Seattle writer and consultant Matt Rosenberg...

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Elvis Slept Upstairs

November 22, 2004

NOTE: This item has been updated since it was posted earlier today.

Don't get all shook up, but if you're looking for a waterfront one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, in a building where Elvis Presley once slept, I've got a hot tip.

At 4225 Beach Drive SW in West Seattle, in a nice neighborhood directly on Puget Sound stands Chambliss House, a sturdy blue-painted residence divided into two apartments. There's a burbling fountain in the brick courtyard, large earthenware flowerpots, and a stone angel on a bench. Plus a metal plaque on the front of the building, looking very official, declaring, "Elvis Presley Slept Here, May 18, 1962." Two musical notes grace each side of the plaque.

It's no gag, owner Alan Chambliss tells me. He's lived there for 30 years and so didn't witness the Elvis visit. But he tells this story. About seven or eight years ago, he noticed a man and woman outside videotaping the building. Curious, he asked why. They explained that her father, now back in New Jersey and dying of cancer, had lived in the upstairs apartment in the early 60s and really enjoyed his stay there, near Seattle's best sandy beach, Alki. (Who wouldn't?).

They were shooting some "remembrance" video footage of the place for him to enjoy before he died. Chambliss invited them in; they talked some more, and the woman mentioned her dad had been a buddy of Elvis in the army, and had picked him up at Sea-Tac in 1962, when Elvis was here to film a movie (more on that below). The kicker: Elvis stayed in the upstairs apartment, and the woman showed Chambliss a picture of her dad and Elvis there, with the very same knotty pine-panelled walls Chambliss recognized as belonging to the place.

Now, as to the rental: it's the downstairs apartment, not the one Elvis slept in, so you'll have to settle for proximity to the legend, rather than full immersion. Although perhaps the ghost of The King comes out at night and croons, "Love Me Tender," as waves lap the shore. You won't know for sure unless you rent the place, right?

It's $865 a month, 800 square feet, waterfront, private deck, fireplace, non-smokers only, and - ahem - "suitable for one person only." Easy walk to Alki's splendiferous amusements. Phone, 206-937-7213; viewings by appointment only. (No I'm not getting a commission here. I don't DO real estate).

Background: Elvis WAS in Seattle in 1962 to film the movie "It Happened At The World's Fair." Including a trip here in September, according to this report. Perhaps the May visit was an under-the-radar reconnaissance mission.

Besides sleeping, what did the the King do here in May of '62? Cruise Alki, setting female hearts atwitter, and skipping flat stones into the surf at low tide? Eat fish and chips on Alki? I doubt it, as fish would have been way too weird for Elvis. He favored fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

(More mind-boggling data here on the Elvis Diet, not to be confused with the ska-punk band of the same name).

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at November 22, 2004 10:28 AM

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