Paisley Park

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If the walls of Paisley Park Studios could talk...

Prince, one of the few stars who managed to find a balance between being an iconic entertainer and being reclusive, arguably spent most of his time tucked away in his famous musical getaway, Paisley Park Studios, which would ultimately become where the beloved artist took his last breath.

The 57-year-old's estate and studio in Chanhassen, Minn., was the perfect illustration of the age-old metaphor, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Or in this case—don't judge a property by its exterior.

Designed by architecture firm BOTO Design Inc, of Santa Monica, Calif., the studios, which was completed in 1988, was once described as looking like "a branch of Ikea," or even "a prison."

Sports reporter Brian Sherriffe recalled a party he attended at Paisley Park Studios back in 1994, and admitted his first impression was that it resembled a jail. "Big gray building, no windows anywhere to be seen," he said.

(Aside from the large glass pyramid on top of the facility that glowed purple whenever he was in the building.)

However, like all truly beautiful things, the magic was on the inside.


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Sherriffe continued, "When we get inside, I can only describe this place as some type of museum. All kinds of recording studios, theme rooms."

The interior of the 65,000 square-foot, $10 million complex was like a dream, grandiose and luxurious in its own way, drowning in bright colors and eclectic art.

"It looks almost exactly like you'd imagine a huge recording complex owned by Prince would look. There is a lot of purple," The Guardian once reported. "The symbol that represented Prince's name for most of the 90s is everywhere: hanging from the ceiling, painted on speakers and the studio's mixing desks, illuminating one room in the form of a neon sign.

"There is something called the Galaxy Room, apparently intended for meditation: it is illuminated entirely by ultraviolet lights and has paintings of planets on the walls. There are murals depicting the studio's owner, never a man exactly crippled by modesty."

ESC: Prince Style

However, there was modesty when it came to flaunting his musical accolades.

Regardless of being a Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar winner, Prince chose to keep his trophies hidden. A 1990 article from Time stated that Prince "keeps his various awards, including those for his four gold and eight platinum albums, locked in a basement room. But next to it, almost like tablets in a tabernacle, are tapes of an estimated 100 unreleased songs, plus two complete albums."

The lingering question here is whether or not fans will ever get a chance to hear his unreleased music.

Meanwhile, a later Times article states that Prince's office featured stained glass doors and a wall elsewhere featured a highly-placed illustration of his eyes with a "godlike sunburst" beaming from in between them.

The article continued to note that Paisley Park Studios, which showed a loss after its first two years, began to thrive.

"The sound stage has been used for everything from rock videos to Hormel chili commercials. The recording studios are state-of-the-art, and so too, in its way, is Prince's private office, which features three beds (king, round, day), one mirror (over the king), sofas, chairs and a desk—all built large-scale."

After 1987, Prince recorded nearly 30 albums at Paisley Park, a place that will always be remembered as his musical safe haven and his home.

Prince, Obit, Paisley Park Studios

Jim Gehrz/Star Tribune via AP

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