Prince's Paisley Park Is Opening for Tours This Fall

Prince
Prince’s purple-clad residence will open to the public this fall. Chris Pizzello/Reuters

One of Prince's many quirks was that despite his massive international success, he never abandoned his home state of Minnesota. He was born there, he died there, and in between he cultivated a mystique around his legendary compound in Chanhassen, Paisley Park. When the Purple One died in April, talk swirled about the estate being converted into a museum of all things Prince. It's what he always wanted, after all, and this fall, it's happening.

According to Minneapolis's KARE 11, the estate will offer daily public tours beginning October 6. "Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on," Prince's sister Tyka Nelson said 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."

Visitors will be able to explore the main floor of Paisley Park, Prince's recording studios, rehearsal rooms, editing rooms, the concert hall and elsewhere throughout the compound, which is about a half-hour drive from Minneapolis. On display will be "thousands" of artifacts, including Prince's flamboyant wardrobe, his awards, instruments, motorcycles and more. Overall, the experience promises a postmortem glimpse inside the private life of one of the most mysterious cultural figures of the past 50 years, which is fortunate considering Prince died right as he was beginning to work on his memoir.

"The new Paisley Park museum will offer fans a unique experience, an exhibition like no other, as Prince would have wanted it," Prince's siblings wrote in a statement. "Most important, the museum will display Prince's genius, honor his legacy, and carry forward his strong sense of family and community."

The experience Paisley Park will offer fans of Prince looks to be similar to—and hopefully just as permanent as—what Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, offers fans of Elvis. Both estates turned museums are located in relatively obscure cities, lending a trip to either icon's shrine the sense of visiting a mecca. Traveling to Graceland is a pilgrimage all true Elvis fans must take, and venturing to Minnesota to see Prince's purple palace will for years hold a similar place on the bucket list of any die-hard Prince fan.

Other rock star residences have been converted into tourist destinations. In February, the London flat where Jimi Hendrix lived in the late '60s opened as a small museum that aimed to showcase exactly how Hendrix lived in 1968, from the tapestries on the walls to the records stacked next to the turntable. Hendrix was the greatest guitar player of all time and a cultural force, but he existed within the framework of a certain scene of musicians, mostly in England, playing blues-derived rock in the late '60s. Elvis and Prince created their own framework. They were their own scene. Their most devoted fans lived and breathed everything their hero—and their hero alone—embodied. This is part of why the untimely deaths of Elvis and Prince were so cataclysmic, why they left such a void in lives of their fans and why these fans need some place to go to try to fill them.

Tickets to tour Paisley Park go on sale Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern through the Paisley Park website. According to a proposal submitted to the city of Chanhassen, the museum expects to draw 1,500 to 2,000 visitors a day.