The houses in 23 and 25 Brook Street have long been the source of fascination for Londoners and visitors to London, marked by two blue plaques they were at one time the residences of two of the great musical talents. Handel House (25 Brook Street) is the Georgian townhouse where George Frideric Handel lived and worked for 36 years. He wrote many of his greatest works there, including Messiah and held rehearsals and first performances of his music and died in the second-floor bedroom in the house in 1759.
Over 200 years later, top floor flat was home to guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix moved into the flat in 1968 and it became a meeting place for musicians in the swinging 60s. The release of the Electric Ladyland LP in the summer confirmed Hendrix has one of the guitar greats of the 1960s.
For the first time, visitors can enter the flat and Handel House as part of Handel & Hendrix in London, a new permanent exhibition tracing Hendrix’s life in London in 1968 and 1969. It will feature original exhibits, including the Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar which he bought in New York at the end of his first US tour with the Experience and brought back to London.
The upper floor rooms of 23 Brook Street following a £2.4M, two-year period of restoration, building and development will open permanently to the public from 10 February 2016. At the centre of the Hendrix flat will be the main living room, painstakingly restored to how it would have been when Hendrix was in residence, also Hendrix’s bedroom carefully restored as it was when he lived there in 1969.
Photograph Barrie Wentzell
The exhibition will explore Hendrix’s life in the flat drawing on new interviews with some of the many visitors to the flat. In creating Handel & Hendrix in London, the footprint of the building has been extended and a new learning and performing space, The Studio built, a new lift introduced, giving full access to the whole building, and new visitor facilities. Handel & Hendrix in London has been designed so that visitors can choose the rooms of the musician with whom they are most interested, or take in the whole building.
If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Handel & Hendrix in London website here
Handel & Hendrix in London, 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HB
Opening hours from 10 February 2016: Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm; Sunday 12noon-6pm;
Last admission: 5pm.
Admission: Handel & Hendrix: Adult £10; Child £5. Handel House: Adult £7.50; Child £3.
Hendrix Flat: Adult £7.50; Child £3.
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