Jimi Hendrix's childhood home is moved from Seattle's Central Area to Renton on September 11, 2005.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 9/15/2005
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7483
On September 11, 2005, the childhood home of the rock star Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) is moved from Seattle's Central Area to Renton. The move ends a four-year struggle over the house between the City of Seattle and the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation, which was started by Jimi's brother, Leon Hendrix, and other Hendrix fans.

A Seattle Family

During the 1950s, Jimi and his younger brother Leon lived in this house with their parents, Al and Lucille. The family struggled with poverty and other problems and this was the last home in which the brothers lived together with both their parents. Lucille later died of causes related to alcoholism.

Al Hendrix died in 2003, and his death touched off a family feud between Leon Hendrix and his stepsister Janie, who inherited most of the Jimi Hendrix estate. Janie is the daughter of Al Hendrix's second wife, and continues to market Jimi Hendrix's music and related items. She was not involved with the house.

Moving and Removing

The small two-bedroom house had been moved once before, in 2001, when it was relocated to S Jackson Street, a few blocks from its original address. There a chain-link fence encircled it and the weeds grew. It became a destination for vagabonds and drug addicts. The City of Seattle threatened to demolish the structure unless it could be moved to a suitable location.

The house's new site in Renton is in a mobile home park directly across from the cemetery where Hendrix is buried. Pete Sikov, a real estate investor and the treasurer of the foundation, bought the site for $1.8 million. The move cost an additional $30,000.

The house was towed in the middle of the night to avoid traffic and arrived at its new home at dawn. The foundation plans to remodel the house to look like it was when Jimi and his brother Leon lived there. It will be used as a music education center, with libraries and music studios for children.

Sources: Sarah Kershaw, "Jimi Hendrix's House Has a New Experience, The New York Times, September 12, 2005, New York Times website (Nytimes.com).

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