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Historic home of Stone House Recording restored with recent renovations and interior upgrades




On the heels of a new partnership that brought together the company’s founder Peter Fox and new co-owner Josh Kaufman earlier this year, Stone House Recording recently wrapped up renovations on the interior of its West Side studio space. They then partnered with local record label dizzybird studios for an afterparty with live music and cocktails by Grey Skies Distillery.  

Located at 731 Front Ave. NW, Stone House Records is housed in the historic Eliphalet H. Turner House, which was originally built in 1846 and still considered to be the oldest building in Grand Rapids still resting on its original foundation.

While the exterior facade of the old building has more or less stood the test of time and survived decades' worth of past tenants and changing tastes, Kaufman says it took a bit of work to catch the interior space up to speed. 

“The stone is beautiful on the outside but on the inside it was covered by plaster and a bunch of drywall, so we took off the drywall and plaster and refinished the stones, cleaning and re-grouting them,” says Kaufman, who joined Stone House Recording founder Peter Fox as new partner and co-owner about a year ago. “So the main project was to expose the original stone, which dates back to the 1800s.”

Because of the building's proximity to a nearby highway, Kaufman added, they also placed extra inset panes of glass over the windows to create better soundproofing without losing access to much-needed natural light. 

“We just decided the control room space just needed to have more comfortable vibes, so we added new flooring, ripped up all of the old carpet, and just made it more comfortable for bands to come in and make music,” Kaufman says. 

For about six years, Stone House Recording was operated as a solo-mission by its original founder Peter Fox, who was the sole engineer and producer until Kaufman signed on as his new partner last year. Specializing in music production and engineering, Stone House additionally offers services in audio for film, TV, and radio as well as voice-over recording. 

“When Peter started the business, he was already kind of a staple of the music scene in Grand Rapids and had done tons of regional and local bands and he had his base gear, so when we partnered up we decided we wanted to try and expand our tool pallet,” says Kaufman, listing new equalizers, compressors, monitors, and microphones alongside the larger purchases, including a 1970s era tech console from Denver and a 1925 Baldwin grand piano among the half dozen of other new instruments and tools made available to visiting artists. 

“They’re tools for the artists who come in to town to feel like they can let go of their inhibitions and go wild when they come into the space,” Kaufman says.

With sights set on continued growth for Stone House Recording, Kaufman says he and Fox would eventually like to expand into multiple studio spaces. With this in mind, the two are right now exploring the possibility of converting the second floor of their building into a few recording booths with a smaller local control room.

And though Kauffman and Fox say they will continue to keep the focus of their studio on recording albums for musicians and bands, they are also looking for creative ways to broaden their reach into new industry areas, hoping to introduce new services like audiobook recordings and some business-to-business options to help bring on more commercial clients. Most recently, they even established an internship program with Hope College. 

“We’re trying to expand our vision from the studio and this year, after the big renovation, is going to be all about that kind of growth,” Kaufman says.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of Anthony Narkus 
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