The former flat of musical icon and rock legend Jimi Hendrix is set to become a permanent museum thanks to £1.2 million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund
Plans are in place to reinvigorate life into the rooms of 23 Brook Street, restoring their original features and appearance in 1968 when Jimi Hendrix and former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham paid just £30 a week for the Mayfair apartment.
Along with historically accurate furnishings from the original flat, displays of Hendrix’s life, work and musical legacy will also be presented throughout the highly coveted space. A space in which fellow rock musicians and fans far and wide have been desperately begging for years to get inside.
Jimi Hendrix’s affectionately referred to the flat as “the only home, I ever had” and despite a vigorous tour schedule in his final years made 23 Brook Street his London base, and is his only residence still standing.
But Hendrix’s house is not the only famous home on the block. Famed composer George Fredric Handel’s former residence and place in which he died sits directly beside at No 25. Formerly separated the flats are now linked by The Handel House Museum.
Wesley Kerr, chair of the London committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said the sum of the two spaces was greater than their parts.”The Handel House Museum is one of the most precious and evocative places in London. To visit the beautifully restored home where one of history’s greatest composers lived, and invented some of the finest music ever written, is already pure joy.”
He said he was delighted that the grant would open up another chapter in music history. “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.”
Hendrix’s flat was opened briefly in 2010 to mark the 40th Anniversary of his death and was booked out instantly with admirers who had long awaited a peak. Now with an added £1.2 million to refurbishments theres no doubt that Hendrix will win over the west once more as the hottest ticket in town!
Words by Tracy Kawalik
Photos by Heritage Lottery Fund