June 9, 2016
Prince’s Paisley Park May Open For Public Tours, Could Be The Next Graceland

Paisley Park may soon become a tourist attraction. The Minnesota compound that served as Prince's home for more than three decades could turn into the next Graceland, according to the Wrap.

Court papers reveal that Bremer Trust has been named special administrator to Prince's estate. The trust is seeking permission to hire a group of experts "to provide advice and counsel on how to manage public tours of the grounds, facilities and buildings located at Paisley Park" so the estate can keep bringing in money. One possibility named in the papers is turning the Paisley Park complex into a tourist attraction, like Elvis Presley's popular Graceland estate in Memphis.

The Paisley Park estate could be tied up in litigation for a long time, as numerous people are vying for a piece of the late singer's fortune. The theme park could be a way to finance things in the interim, especially since the order acknowledged that Prince's estate could face a tax crisis, and that it "must work expeditiously and diligently toward" meeting its tax obligations. The Paisley Park tourist attraction could be the key to the estate's financial woes, as it would surely be a must-see stop for fans of the late music icon.

Prince was found dead of an opiate overdose in an elevator in Paisley Park in April. But before that sad day, the icon created a musical wonderland that was years ahead of its time.

Paisley Park is a self-contained 55,000 square foot, $10 million creative-complex. In an interview with Billboard shortly after Prince's death, Bret Thoeny, the architect behind Paisley Park, revealed that Prince came to him with his vision for the property.

"Prince had this vision to have everything under one roof. And this was decades before it was common for any individual to do that," Thoeny said of Paisley Park.

Prince conceived the idea for Paisley Park when he was making the movie Purple Rain in 1983. The singer named the complex Paisley Park after his 1985 song of the same name.

Paisley Park boasts two state-of-the-art recording studios, a 12,400 square foot sound stage, rehearsal room, performance area, common areas, and several offices. Prince's personal, two-story office reportedly has three beds in it alone—and one of them is round.

Paisley Park was built from the ground up, and it has very few windows because recording studios don't have windows. In addition, Prince wanted his privacy at Paisley Park. Thoeny said Prince was very involved in the construction of Paisley Park and would visit the site often as it was being built.

While it's loaded with Prince-approved touches, one of the music icon's requests for Paisley Park didn't happen.

"In the early stages I did a design for the front of the building where we were going to extend this piece out, it was almost like a graphic sculpture, which was in the shape of a paisley," Thoeny revealed. "It was all designed but then we decided to keep it simple. It was his idea."

But the entrance to Paisley Park is marked with a pyramid, as per Prince's request.

"He loved pyramids," Thoeny revealed. "The glass pyramid marked the entrance to the building, and there were skylight pyramids on top of his office. I think they obviously did more theatrical lighting over the years, but I know the place would light up purple when he had an event there, and they'd put purple lights all around the parameter."

Thoeny said Paisley Park was groundbreaking at the time it was built because back then "this wasn't done."

"Artists weren't building their own compounds, only large companies and record labels were," he said. "But Prince, Prince had this vision to have everything under one roof. And this was decades before it was common for any individual to do that."

Paisley Park is a landmark in Prince's hometown of Chanhassen, Minnesota, a crowning jewel far away from the bright lights of Los Angeles or New York. Prince built the compound in his heyday, and if it turns into a tourist attraction it will continue to give back to his hometown even after his death.

Take a look at the video below for more on Paisley Park.

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]