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Friday, August 19, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Jimi Hendrix's home gets one last reprieve

Seattle Times staff reporter

The childhood home of Jimi Hendrix — which has faced repeated threats of demolition — has been given one last temporary reprieve.

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson yesterday refused to extend a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city of Seattle from tearing down the modest house.

However, Robinson said she thought the effort to preserve the Hendrix home was worthwhile and said she would give the home's owners until Sept. 1 to seek emergency relief from the state Court of Appeals.

The small house where the late guitar legend lived from 1953-56 was moved four years ago from its original site to a city-owned lot at 2010 S. Jackson St. The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation, headed by Seattle resident Pete Sikov, paid more than $30,000 to buy the house, move it and lease the land where it now stands.

They had hoped to renovate the two-bedroom house and turn it into the centerpiece of an urban community center in Hendrix's name that would offer music lessons, a lending library of musical instruments and practice rooms.

Sikov and the Hendrix Foundation claim the city has repeatedly broken promises to work with them to create the memorial to the Seattle native, who died in 1970.

The city claims that Sikov and the foundation have missed every deadline to either move the house or submit development plans for the project. Last year, the city moved to reclaim the lot and threatened to have the house demolished if it wasn't moved.

The foundation, however, has been able to win extensions from the city. The most recent reprieve for the home came in July, when a King County Superior Court judge issued the temporary restraining issue preventing demolition of the home.

In yesterday's hearing, Hendrix foundation attorney B. Bradford Kogut said that the city of Renton, where Hendrix is buried, has agreed to allow the home to be moved to property there. He said he expects formal approval for the move to come sometime around Aug. 31. He asked the judge to give the home's owners until the end of September to have the house moved.

Robinson, however, said there was no way to control or predict the length of time Renton's permitting process would take, and she said she had no legal basis on which to prevent the city of Seattle from reclaiming its lot.

"We have people who are willing to chain themselves to that house to prevent them from tearing it down if we have to," said Henry Lewis, a longtime friend of the Hendrix family.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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