MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just a week before Prince’s home opens to the public, a controversy is building among his faithful followers.
The music legend died at Paisley Park from an accidental painkiller overdose five months ago. Now, his estate is turning that complex in Chanhassen into a museum for tourists, but plans to build a fence or wall around the estate is hitting a sour note with some of Prince’s most loyal fans.
Five months after Prince’s death and Paisley Park is still a destination for his fans.
“I’m still sad about his passing which is why I came with a friend to go to another event here, but this was on the list to do,” Prince fan Sharon Goldmacher said.
Goldmacher slipped away from the Ryder cup to pay tribute to the Purple One. She says she supports plans to turn Paisley Park into a museum but she doesn’t support a wall or opaque fence that would surround the landmark.
“He was very accessible and I think he would of hated a wall,” Goldmacher said.
Sharon is not alone. A petition was formed and sent to Chanhassen’s mayor and city council asking them to reconsider closing off Paisley Park from fans.
Kim Huston started the petition that asks city leader to not put up a wall or opaque fence, making Paisley Park prison-like and uninviting.
“He made it his home and he invited all of us into it and said it was our home too, and asked us to take care of it so we feel like it’s our home as well,” she said.
City officials believe a wall around Paisley Park would h help them navigate and manage the co-existence of the people who live in the area and the thousands that will come to visit.
Chanhassen City Manager Todd Gerhart says the city is concerned about safety. It doesn’t want to see fans stopping on Highway 5 to take pictures or see fans run into Audubon Road and get hurt.
More than 2,500 names are on the petition and many plan on packing Chanhassen’s city council meeting on Oct. 3 to be heard.
Chanhassen says it’s not requiring Paisley Park to build a new fence. The estate would have to comply with city codes, except the barrier could be opaque for security and safety reasons.