SEATTLE – Time is running short for a group hoping to make the boyhood home of acid-blues-rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix (search) the centerpiece of a community music center.
King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson on Thursday refused to extend a temporary restraining order that barred the city from demolishing the modest house two-bedroom house.
At the same time, Robinson said she thought the effort to preserve the house was worthwhile and gave the owners until Sept. 1 to seek emergency relief from the state Court of Appeals.
Four years ago the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation, headed by Peter Sikov, 50, paid more than $30,000 to buy the house where the late guitar legend lived from 1953-56, move it to a city-owned lot and lease the site as temporary storage.
"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.
Sikov and others in the foundation say city officials have repeatedly broken promises to work with them on plans to renovate the two-bedroom house for use in a community center that would offer music lessons, practice rooms and a lending library of musical instruments.
City officials say 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 to have the house moved again or demolished.
Hendrix foundation lawyer B. Bradford Kogut said in court Thursday that officials in Renton, where Hendrix is buried, have agreed to allow the home to be moved to property in the suburb south of the city, adding that formal approval is likely around Aug. 31.
Robinson rejected Kogut's request to extend the ban on action by Seattle through the end of September, saying that there was no legal basis for such an order and that there was no way to determine how long it would take for the deal in Renton to go through.