"The Levitt Shell"
January 30th, 2007 Memphis Business Journal - 3:06 PM CST Monday 29/1/07
The City of Memphis, the Mortimer Levitt Foundation and a group of Memphians will partner to revive the Overton Park Shell.
The partnership was announced Monday in a news release prepared by The Carter Malone Group, a Memphis-based public relations firm. Further details about the project will be released in February.
The Overton Park Shell closed in 2004. An engineering study found the venue would need about $550,000 worth of improvements.
The Mortimer Levitt Foundation has a history of helping restore amphitheaters.
In 2003, the foundation endowed the city of Pasadena, Calif., with a $250,000 grant to restore the Gold Shell in Memorial Park, which was built in 1930. That venue, now called the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, recently held its fourth annual free summer concert series.
Elvis Presley held his first paid performance at the Overton Park Shell in 1954. Over the years, entertainers such as The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and Neil Diamond have performed at the Midtown venue.
The Mortimer Levitt Foundation was created in 1963 to support the arts across the U.S.
Click HERE To Read a Feb 22, 2007 UPDATE on the: Mortimer Levitt
Foundation's project to restore the Wallenberg Shell in Memphis
October 25th, 2004
Memphis -- The Overton Park Shell played host to it's last concert until some necessary repairs could be made.
An engineering study found that the shell will need about 550 thousand dollars worth of improvements. It said this historic venue has decayed to the point that it is now a liability for the city.
After this weekend it will be shut down until that money can be raised to fix the structure. It is unclear how long that will take because there is no dedication by the city or any real organized sources of money for this project.
But the intent is there as the group 'save our shell' try to organize a fund-raising campaign. They say this structure is a vital part of this city's history and is as important of a landmark like Sun Studios.
The shell was the first real venue for a young Elvis Presley. He played his first show on that stage in 1954 and it is widely regarded as the first rock and roll show ever.
The Page you are on:
Ms. Charmaine Jensen
Originally suggested the creation of this website in 1999
Here are the Links to the Elvis Presley Petition:
This is an important landmark in Memphis and important in
connection with Elvis. In 1982, at the request of the National
Council of Christians and Jews, the Overton Park Shell
was named after Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat
responsible for saving thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps.
JACQUELINE ULMO - Brasil
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The Overton Park Shell has been in operation since the 1930s.
Created by WPA [Depression era make-work project], this open air theatre
has been home to many great entertainers throughout the years,
including Elvis Presley, who preformed the first big concert
of his career, after becoming a recording artist.
Memphis Chamber of Commerce
City of Memphis
WEST TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY