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Thirty years ago today: Paisley Park Studios opens

In its heyday, it drew artists and musicians from around the world.

Paisley Park Studios, located at the intersection of Highway 5 and Audubon Road, in Chanhassen.
NPG Records

Home to many historically significant people and places, Carver County‘s possibly best-known are recording artist Prince and his Paisley Park Studios. Located in what were Chanhassen cornfields, the site was a key location in Minnesota’s music industry. In its heyday, it drew artists and musicians from around the world. Though no longer in business, it still draws the eye of travelers along Highway 5 in Chanhassen.

Located at the intersection of Highway 5 and Audubon Road, Paisley Park officially opened on September 11, 1987. A ten-million-dollar, 65,000-square-foot facility, it spans three separate wings. Paisley Park contains two 48-track recording studios, a 24-track studio, a twelve thousand foot soundstage, a rehearsal and dance hall, video editing suites, and dozens of offices. The studio has music, film, and video production capabilities.

This studio was designed by Brett Thoeny of Boto Design, Inc., in Venice, California, working closely with Prince. Tushie Montgomery and Associates, Inc., and Bossardt Christenson Corp. constructed it. Prince designed it to provide a place in Minnesota to record and edit film and music without having to go out of state. He also wanted the studio to have capabilities to match or surpass those on the east and west coasts.

Since it opened, many individuals and groups recorded or rehearsed at Paisley Park Studios. Among them were Kool and the Gang, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre casts, the Sesame Street touring company, the Jets, Patti LaBelle, Jermaine Jackson, Ipso Facto, Gene Loves Jezebel, World Party and Limited Warranty. Many TV commercials have been edited and completed there, as were music videos, feature films, and concert films like Prince’s “Sign ‘O the Times.” Over the years, Prince himself held concerts on site, which became legendary for their party feel, size, and noise levels. He also started the Paisley Park record label from here. As more and more people called about tours, or showed up wanting one, they began being offered for fifteen dollars.

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Paisley Park closed in 1996 for remodeling. It never resumed the same level of business once it re-opened. It closed again in the mid-2000s, after tax problems arose. Still, it remains famous in Chanhassen and among Prince fans worldwide.

For more information on this topic, check out the original entry on MNopedia.