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The Story Behind Prince's $10 Million Paisley Park Estate

MINNEAPOLIS (CBSNewYork)-- Prince loved his home state of Minnesota so much that he created most of his music inside his Paisley Park estate. But what exactly is inside?

CBS2's Jean Casarez spoke with the architect responsible for the complex.

From the outside, Paisley Park looks like any large commercial building. But inside, the creative genius and mysterious side of music icon Prince is on full display.

"Prince wanted to have a place where he could do all his music and make films and do his tour rehearsals and to dance, choreography and everything under one roof, which back 25 years ago was quite progressive," Paisley Park architect Bret Theony said.

The $10 million, 65,000-square-foot complex designed by the Los Angeles architect is a curiosity to many. Theony said it took the better part of three years from conception to completion in 1987.

Walking through the front door transcends into Prince's reality.

"When you come to Paisley Park, you come in the front, the lobby with the pyramid, the two-story overhead. I recall it is cold in Minnesota, so you have another set of doors that you go through and then you get warm," Theony said.

The first floor houses production facilities, including state-of-the-art recording studios, a sound stage, and a massive rehearsal hall.

Prince wanted no windows in the downstairs performance areas, creating a timeless environment where he could work without knowing when night became day.

The second floor, designed with windows, includes executive offices as well as Prince's personal haven.

"A portion of it was like a stay-over where if he was in the studio late, which he always was, he could just crash for a few hours and get back in the studio," Theony said.

And as far as a secret vault in the building? Yes, it exists after Prince requested it.

"We did a vault for Prince. He wanted a place to keep his master recordings, but at the time it was very important to keep this a secret," the architect said.

He wasn't just secretive about the vault, but about the entire property. A longtime friend of Prince told CNN he didn't like people taking pictures inside.

Prince named his complex Paisley Park, Theony said, after his love of print design and a song he recorded by the same name released in 1985.

Theony said he will never forget, despite his fear of heights, Prince bringing him up on the massive rooftop to see the view.

"You can see the lakes and you could see the landscape and it was just a moment that was important for him to go up there," he said.

Prince was cremated Saturday as close friends and family celebrated his life at an intimate ceremony.

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