For Prince fans, there is no holier ground than the iconic musician's Minneapolis estate, Paisley Park. The nine acre compound was the late singer's home an nucleolus for all his creativity since opening in 1987 and the place where he passed away just a few months ago. It houses his legendary musical vault, has been the set for his 1990 film Graffiti Bridge, a recording studio and rehearsal space for him as well as many other artists, including The Bee Gees, Paula Abdul, The Replacements, Barry Manilow and of course, his countless protégées.
This week, news emerged out of Minneapolis that Prince's estate is pairing up with Graceland Holdings LLC, the company that manages Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, and is seeking permission to open the estate to the public in October, potentially turning the grounds into a museum, live music venue and restaurant (likely vegetarian, in line with Prince's famous diet).
This was a plan that was allegedly set in movement well before Prince's death. "Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on," said Prince's sister Tyka Nelson in a statement. "Only a few hundred people have had the rare opportunity to tour the estate during his lifetime. Now, fans from around the world will be able to experience Prince's world for the first time as we open the doors to this incredible place."
The proposal to the city stated that there was to be no additional construction, bar some 50 extra parking spaces, but that Graceland would be providing funds for improvements and operating costs. It also states that 70-mintute tours will cost $38.50, and $100 for a VIP tour. It's expected that the tour will lead fans through the recording studios, rehearsal spaces and sound stages and tickets will go on sale as soon as tomorrow for the proposed October 6 opening. In saying that however, there is to be a review and vote on the museum application with the city's planning commission next month.
As a Prince superfan, and someone who has also visited the monstrosity of morbid exit-via-various-giftshops that is Graceland, one can only hope that should Paisley Park open as a museum, it is done so with integrity and a bit more class than the Memphis home of the King.