Since the Handel House Museum opened in 2001, museum staff have been fielding unusual requests: to see the staff offices. Why? Because the staff's working space was an attic apartment where Jimi Hendrix once lived. Now, that apartment is opening to the public as the Handel museum effectively becomes a joint Handel/Hendrix museum.
Handel lived at 25 Brook Street in London's Mayfair neighborhood for the last three-and-a-half decades of his life, up until his death in 1759. Hendrix moved into an attic flat at 23 Brook Street in 1968. Though his time in the neighborhood was much more limited, Hendrix's London home has become a mecca for fans in the 45 years since his death.
After spending £2.4 million (about $3.7 million) to restore the flat to its 1960s appearance and create new office space for museum staff, the museum is ready to officially open Hendrix's flat in February 2016, as the institution becomes "Handel & Hendrix in London."
The two separate buildings are now combined with a single entrance, and visitors will be able to choose Handel-only tours, Hendrix-only tours, or both.
It's impossible, of course, to know how Handel might feel about this—but the cosmopolitan composer would likely have appreciated knowing that his London home would still be a hotbed, even 250 years after his death. For Hendrix's part, he thought it was cool to live next door to Handel's old house: after he moved in, he walked over to a local record shop and bought copies of Messiah and Water Music.