One of the earliest and largest master planned communities in America, Graceland Hills opened Phase I on August 22, 1958, with five home models, a shopping center, a recreation center, and drive-in movie theatre. The opening weekend drew 100,000 people, ten times more than expected, and resulted in a Time magazine cover story.
Built on the site of the former ghost town of Mesa Verde. The only surviving element of the original community is the Graceland Hills Cemetery and funeral home which were built in 1920. By the time America entered the second world war in 1941, the town of Mesa Verde had been abandoned. The town and surrounding areas were purchased in 1949.
Due to the unusual placement of the Graceland Hills Cemetery at the heart of the development and a number of local urban legends surrounding the area. The community has earned the colorful nickname, “Graveland.”
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