The Church Studio

It’s been 50 years since Leon Russell purchased the historic church in 1972, turning it into a recording studio and home office to Shelter Records. The latest owners and caretakers of Russell’s legacy, Teresa Knox and Ivan Acosta, focused on the restoration and expansion of The Church Studio featuring a state-of-the-art recording studio, audio engineering school, and museum paying tribute to the much-loved musician/songwriter/producer. Wallace Design Collective provided civil engineering and landscape architecture services for this project for all to enjoy.

The original studio was placed on the National Register of Historic Places which required that much of the original structure keep much of the original appearance. That appearance was enhanced with the addition of trees and shrubs at the perimeter of the building. A new, more contemporary building was constructed to the south of the existing structure, and features space for public gatherings, concerts, presentations, and display of Leon Russell’s artifacts. This new addition allows space for elevators and stairs required to access parts of the existing building. The siting of the new building also allowed space for a private courtyard where musicians can find meditative space, or provide an intimate concert. The space was developed with site lines to direct users to a focal sculpture, a small covered stage, and secluded seating areas.

photos: ©Mel Willis Co.

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