In the days since the news of musical superstar Prince’s death, thousands of fans have come to the doors of his Minnesota home to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Now, his family has stated that Prince’s home, known as "Paisley Park," will become a museum dedicated to his remarkable career.
“We will turn Paisley Park into a museum in Prince’s memory,” Maurice Phillips, Prince’s brother-in-law, tells James Beal for the Sun. “It would be for the fans. He was all about the fans — this would remember his music, which is his legacy. Prince was always private but would have wanted his music remembered.”
Located about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis, in the town of Chanhassen, Minnesota, the $10-million sprawling estate is where the artist lived as well as recorded many of his greatest hits over the last 30 years. From the outside, the building looks like a stark, white office block. However, thanks in no small part to Prince’s idiosyncrasies, the compound has been subject to all sorts of rumors over the years, such as whether it contains a vault with a treasure trove of unreleased recordings, Meredith Kile writes for Entertainment Tonight.
“There was a whole mystique about Paisley Park. Everybody heard about it but no one was ever in there,” Kevin Mazur, who was one of the first photographers allowed to take photos inside the complex, tells Kile. “It was totally surreal… It was like a kid’s first time in Disneyland. I was like ‘Wait, I can go walk around and photograph anything?’”
While the inside of Paisley Park might have been a mystery to fans for decades, some of his closest friends suggest that turning his home into a museum may have been Prince’s plan all along.
"We're hoping to make Paisley what [Prince wanted] it to be. [He] was working on it being a museum," musician Sheila E., Prince’s longtime collaborator, tells Zach Seemayer for Entertainment Tonight. "He's been gathering memorabilia and stuff from all the tours, like my drums and his motorcycle."
Though there are no solid plans yet, Paisley Park could become Minnesota’s own version of Graceland – Elvis’ former Memphis residence-turned-museum. However, while Prince’s home is iconic enough to merit becoming a museum in its own right, some say it has the potential to be something even more.
But more than just a museum, Paisley Park should also become a space for carrying on the work of mentoring artists, something Prince made a point of doing through much of his life. From singer Janelle Monae to ballet star Misty Copeland, Prince cultivated young talent, widening his mark on the musical scene. In a recent tribute performance to her mentor over the weekend, Monae said of Prince: “He was free. He was fearless. He was music. … I am because he was.”
It’s too soon to say what will become of Paisley Park, but whatever its fate, hopefully it will be a fitting tribute to the musician who inspired millions.