RENOVATOR FINDS GRACELAND STAINED GLASS
By Ron Maxey - The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Mike Witt thought the stained glass panels he found in the Germantown home he was renovating might have some
value, but he had no idea what he had stumbled upon.

The four panels, Witt discovered after some research, were the companion pieces to four panels displayed on the
arching brick wall that surrounds the grave sites of Elvis Presley and family members in the Meditation Garden at
Graceland.

"I thought I might find something valuable someday," said Witt, a Southaven resident who renovates distressed homes,
"but I never expected this."

Just how valuable the panes might be is uncertain. Witt, who has them in storage at a secure location, is coy about
estimating their value but has set up a website, theelvisglass.com, for anyone interested in reading the story behind the
panels and making an offer.

"It would be impossible to arrive at any kind of appraised value due to the unique circumstances of their merit," Witt tells
potential bidders on the website. "The reality is that their value is what a serious buyer desires to offer."

The tale of how Witt came into possession of the stained glass panels requires rewinding nine years.

In 2001, Witt bought for about $135,000 a vacant Germantown home that had fallen into disrepair.

In the home, Witt found four stained glass panels depicting religious imagery of a Moorish nature.

Witt thought the panels might have some value so he replaced them when renovating the home, with the intention of
keeping the stained glass.

"One day while we were renovating, a guy came by and was telling me all about the house because he had grown up
down the street," Witt said. "He said, 'What are you going to do with the stained glass?' I said, 'Well, I'm going to replace
it with some opaque (glass) or something.' "

The man offered $1,000 for the panels, but Witt said he told him thanks but no thanks.

"He talked a few more minutes," Witt said, "and finally said I was wise not to sell them to him because they were worth a
fortune. I ask him why and he said because the man who built the house, Bernard Grenadier, built Meditation Garden at
Graceland and put four pieces of stained glass in there. He said these pieces were the matching pieces of the
eight-piece set.

"I was at Graceland by the end of the day. Just with my layman's eye, I looked and said, 'Oh my goodness, it really is
(part of a set).'"

Graceland spokesman Kevin Kern said Friday that he had not had time to investigate the claim and couldn't comment.

But Witt did additional research to document through the Register's Office that the late Grenadier, an architect, had in
the 1960s built the Germantown home where the panels were found.

Witt also documented that Grenadier designed and built Meditation Garden in the 1960s and included Spanish stained
glass dating from the 1800s, all of which is noted on a plaque at Meditation Garden.

Finally, he had the glass panels in his possession compared to the ones at Graceland by experts, who confirmed a
match.

"Both sets were created by the same unknown artist or group of artisans," Belinda Grantham, president and owner of
Beelines Inc., a designer and restorer of stained glass in Byhalia, Miss., determined in a 2008 letter to Witt when he
began thinking about doing something with the panels.

All of which brings Witt back to the present, where he doesn't doubt the historical significance of his accidental treasure
regardless of how much it ultimately proves to be worth monetarily.

He knows that for Elvis fans worldwide, they're priceless.

"Meditation Garden," Witt notes, "is the holy of holies of the Elvis experience."
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