Three Intriguing Gate Stories
Area 51, Elvis and The Royal Family
There are gates, and then, there are gates! Custom gates have been a part of rich histories from throughout the world and throughout the ages. Their purposes have always been multidimensional – from adding exquisite beauty and increased value to a particular property to enhancing security for one’s family, one’s palace or an entire kingdom! Whether one is referring to ancient Rome or Southern Plantations of the Civil War era or the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, custom gates have been fashioned and fabricated for many reasons throughout history; and will continue to do so.
Let’s take a peek at three gate locations that offer their own, unique flavor and individual intrigue.
The Security Gates of Area 51
No, this may not be your traditional gate story, but it is worth mentioning due to the sheer fascination and mystery that surrounds the location of the gates in this region that are intended to keep curiosity-seekers at a distance! Many Americans are intrigued by the secrecy and security that surround Area 51, located in Alamo, Nevada. Rumors or truth – take your pick – abound concerning this isolated USAF military installation that places a premium on security. Stories have swirled regarding UFOs and their occupants, reverse engineering and other strange revelations from decades past up, to the present.
Part of the intense security of Area 51 utilizes various gates located in strategic positions throughout the vast compound. In fact, the main gates are located at a guard shack about a mile away from very obvious warning signs one has permission to walk up to, yet not go beyond. Area 51, itself, is located almost eight miles past the gated guard shack.
As one would expect, not much can be shared about the security gates that serve this overly-guarded tract of land; but it remains a fact that the main security gates at Area 51 open daily to allow entrance for about 1,000 personnel who are flown in from Las Vegas and are bussed into Area 51 in strange, white buses with tinted windows. What do these people do during their shifts at Area 51, every day? No one knows. If only the gates could speak!
The Guitar Gates of Graceland
Shortly after Elvis Presley purchased his 13.8-acre property in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1957, Presley spent over $500,000 as part of an extensive remodeling project. Elvis’ desires were to transform his new property into a completely personalized oasis, of sorts. Part of that renovation included the fabrication and installation of a customized wrought-iron front gate, designed and built by Abe Sauer, a local Memphis artisan. Mr. Sauer incorporated a design shaped like a book of sheet music, embellished with green-colored musical notes and a silhouette of Elvis playing the guitar on both halves of the gate. It was only one month after the purchase of Graceland that the famous musical gates were installed in all their glory, with the installation, alone, costing $2,400.
The Royal Gates of London
If, ever, money were spent on customized gates where the monetary amount was of no consequence, it would be at Buckingham Palace in London. With more than 830,000 square feet of living space, one of the most well-known sections of the 775-roomed palace is the East front which offers the balcony on which The Royal Family congregates to meet crowds of adoring fans on special occasions. Another fascinating aspect of Buckingham Palace are the custom iron gates that adorn the structure’s various entrances. A massive center gate with arched tops, gold finials and wrought-iron rods and ornate artwork lies below, and away from, the welcoming balcony on the East side of the palace. These gates are reserved for ceremonial purposes while another pair of somewhat-smaller, yet ornately-styled iron gates — known as the North-center gates — are used for everyday entrance.
The huge center gate is extremely embellished and both halves of the gate are adorned with the British National Seal (British Royal Coat of Arms) being embraced by a bronze lion and a bronze unicorn to the left and to the right of the crest, respectively. These gates are opened when the departure of the guards takes place during the daily, world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony.
It’s Time for YOUR Custom Gate!
Customized gates are designed to enhance the beauty, value and security of one’s property. At Aberdeen Custom Gate & Iron, we can fabricate any design your heart desires – whether fanciful, ornate, simplistic, rustic or contemporary, our skilled artisans can turn your vision into a stunning 3-D reality! And your custom-designed gate can become a legend in its own time, too!