The London flat that guitar god Jimi Hendrix touchingly described as “the only home I ever had” is to become a permanent museum dedicated to the life, work, and creative legacy of the man himself. Hendrix rented the flat in the late 1960s with girlfriend Kathy Etchingham for £30 a week in rent.
Thanks to a £1.2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, what is now a rather drab office space located in a London attic will be restored to how it would have looked in 1968, and will finally be open to rock and roll pilgrims who’ve been striving to get a look inside for decades.
As The Guardian reports, the 18th-century listed building is adorned with a pair of blue plaques that acknowledge the two musical icons who have resided within. The Seattle-born Hendrix lived at No 23 Brook Street, and German Baroque composer George Frideric Handel lived at No 25.
The Mayfair properties, which were originally constructed as separate houses in 1721, are now joined as the Handel House Museum. Hendrix himself was fascinated by his connection to the composer, reportedly buying up recordings of music that Handel wrote while living in the house.
The Handel House Museum was established in 2001 after former tenants moved out of the building. While the Georgian interiors in which Handel lived for 40 years have been restored, Hendrix’s rooms have become offices for the museum staff and long since lost their period detail.
“The Handel House Museum is one of the most precious and evocative places in London,” said Wesley Kerr, chair of the London committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund. “To visit the beautifully restored home where one of history’s greatest composers lived…is already pure joy.”
Kerr was equally enthusiastic about the grant, saying, “It will make available to visitors the neighbouring flat where Jimi Hendrix, another extraordinary musical émigré from a more recent era, found inspiration and happiness, transcending musical boundaries in the heyday of rock and roll.”
(Via The Guardian)