Elvis may have left it, but this building will be sticking around for a long time.
The U.S. Department of Interior officially designated Graceland, the beloved Memphis mansion where the King of Rock 'n' Roll died in 1977, a national historic landmark on Monday.
"It would be difficult to tell the story of the 20th century without discussing the many contributions made by this legendary, iconic artist," outgoing Interior Secretary Gail Norton said in a ceremony. "It didn't take Americans and the rest of the world long to discover Elvis Presley and it is absolutely clear that they will never forget him."
Graceland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, but the new designation assures Elvis' abode--which has become one of the country's most visited residential museums, attracting more than 600,000 tourists a year--will be preserved in perpetuity as a vital part of America's cultural landscape.
Much of its popularity has to do with Presley also being buried there, making Graceland a permanent pilgrimage for millions of fans who couldn't help falling in love with the hip-swiveling, pelvis-thrusting crooner. The storied mansion also includes the famous Jungle Room and such artifacts as his Vegas jumpsuits, his car collection, and numerous awards and gold records.
The enigmatic entertainer purchased the estate in 1957 for $103,000 following his first chart-topping record, "Heartbreak Hotel." In 1982, five years after he died of a heart attack at age of 42, Graceland was converted into a museum and began offering tours.
"To him, having Graceland also was a tangible symbol of how far he had come from his very humble beginnings," said Presley's former wife, Priscilla.
Also on hand for the ceremony was their daughter and sole heir, Lisa Marie. "This landmark designation comes purely due to the fact that the legendary Elvis Presley called Graceland home," Lisa Marie said. "It's a significant statement about how much my father has meant to the world and it only makes me prouder of him."
In August 2005, the youngest Presley sold an 85 percent stake of Graceland's business operations to CKX Inc., the entertainment conglomerate that owns American Idol, in a deal worth $100 million that allowed her to retain ownership of the actual physical property and its vast holdings.
CKX plans to make improvements on the mansion and its surrounding 13 acres in hopes of making it even more of a tourist attraction and doubling the number of visitors each year to compete on the same level as Disney and Universal's theme parks.
In any case, it's good to be the King.
Only 2,500 locations have been awarded the national historic landmark distinction. Graceland is now on par with the White House, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, the Alamo, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthplace in Atlanta, George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, and Lincoln's tomb in Illinois, not to mention Duke Ellington's New York City residence, Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Chicago, and Emily Dickinson's homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts.