Jimi Hendrix House Demolished
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | Apr. 16, 2009
The 900-square-foot house where Jimi Hendrix strummed a one-string ukulele and played air guitar for his brother, Leon, is gone. Last month the city of Renton, Wash., dismantled the dilapidated two-bedroom structure that stood across the street from Hendrix's grave, visited by about 15,000 people each year.
Hendrix lived in the house in the 1950s, from age 10 to age 13. Long after he had moved, so did the house, originally built in Seattle: In 2001, contractors transported it a few blocks southwest to make way for condominiums, and four years later the house was moved again from Seattle to a mobile home park in suburban Renton.
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Pete Sikov, then treasurer of the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation, paid for both moves. In 2005 he purchased the mobile home park for $1.8 million, hoping to develop it around the Hendrix house. At the time he told Preservation, "We really see this as something that is the community's…It really belongs to everybody." Unfortunately his restoration plans never moved forward.
A year after the permit allowing Sikov to keep the house at the mobile park expired, the city of Renton ordered him to move the house once again, imposing a March 27 deadline. "The city of Renton has been very active and successful in recent years of working with property owners to remove or repair abandoned unsightly structures. We felt that we needed to proceed with requesting the structure be removed," Neil Watts, Renton director of development services, said in an e-mail."
Sikov says he did manage to salvage wooden elements from the Hendrix house—including cabinets and the back door. He may have the salvaged pieces made into guitars.
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