In 1976 the building was retrofitted as an 8-track recording studio by Jack Weaver and opened as Triangle Recording. Through the late 70s and early 80s, a ton of bands made fantastic new wave and post-punk records here — The Blackouts ‘Men In Motion‘ EP, Pell Mell’s ‘Rhyming Guitars’ EP, and The Pudz ‘Take Me To Your Leader‘ single are standouts from the Triangle Recording era. A fire destroyed the control room in 1980; it was rebuilt and reopened later that year.
Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale took over the studio in 1984 and changed the name to Reciprocal Recording. Jack Endino began working here in 1986. Chris and Jack practically invented grunge in that era; Chris recorded Green River here, and Jack recorded Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ and Mudhoney’s ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff‘, among dozens of other classic records.
Rich Hinklin took over when Hanzsek left in 1991, and renamed the studio Word Of Mouth.
In 1994 the studio changed hands again, becoming John & Stu’s. Through the 1990s John Goodmanson, Phil Ek, and Steve Fisk made countless records here. Sleater-Kinney, Low, Harvey Danger, Unwound, Blonde Redhead, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and Satisfact are but a few of the bands who recorded at John & Stu’s.
With the help of Barsuk Records, Chris Walla took over the studio in 2000 and changed the name to the Hall of Justice. Between 2000 and 2004 he made records here with Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, The Long Winters, Carissa’s Wierd, The Decemberists, The Velvet Teen, Rocky Votolato, and a number of others.
Death Cab for Cutie took over the lease from Walla in 2004 and used the building as a rehearsal space for a few years. When DCfC moved out in 2008, the Fleet Foxes moved in, changed the name back to Reciprocal, and recorded a significant piece of Helplessness Blues here, with Phil Ek.
When Walla moved back into the building in 2010, it was in very poor repair — certainly not the Foxes’ fault, simply the cumulative result of roughly three decades of shoestring budgets and sweaty rock bands. Rehabilitation and remodeling was necessary. Under Walla’s direction the building was stripped to the studs and rebuilt over the course of 16 months. It reopened in its present form in 2011. Recent projects include albums for Lo Moon, Paper Kites, Avalanche City, The Lonely Forest, S, Walla, The Thermals, and the film mix for ‘Torrey Pines’.