San Francisco

2 Jimi Hendrix murals depart the Haight as 'Red House' gets fresh coat of paint

Earlier this winter, painters' scaffolding was removed to unveil a fresh, much-needed paint job on the landmark "Red House" at 1524 Haight St. — the former home of Jimi Hendrix, painted to honor his song of the same name.

But when the new look was revealed, it became clear the building also lost a different local landmark: its pair of Hendrix-related murals.

The building's owner, Marwan Zeidan, said he needed to repaint the building as part of its restoration, which meant the murals had to go.

One of the murals, from 2014, was by the artist Amandalynn. It depicted a woman with flowers in her hair, surrounded by butterflies and the words "Jimi Hendrix."

'Jimi Hendrix" by Amandalynn, 2014. | Image: via Amandalynn

The other, on the building's west-facing side, was home to two successive Jimi Hendrix portrait murals by different artists.

The first, "Purple Haze," was designed by Sean Griffin and installed in 2013 with the help of Ernest Doty and Eon75 (a.k.a. Max Ehrman). It featured Hendrix with a guitar, echoing the style of '60s-era rock posters, Griffin said.

"That piece was a fun one," Griffin recalls, "and it was a big part of the whole experience" of being in the Haight.

"Purple Haze," by Sean Griffin, 2013. | Photo: Streetview, courtesy of Sean Griffin

Griffin's design was then painted over with a different design of Hendrix, by Sacramento-based artist JM Knudsen. The mural was painted live in 2017, as part of the 40th Haight Street Fair that recognized the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

"I feel that mural had a tremendous positive impact on the community and worldwide," Knudsen said of his mural. "It's unfortunate it had to go. Such a positive message. It’s pretty sad, but I knew that it had to be done to fix the house."

"Jimi Hendrix," by JM Knudsen, 2017. | Image: Via JM Knudsen

Zeidan said that while he doesn't currently plan to restore the old murals, he'd be open to installing something similar, as an homage to the building's storied past.

"If we do something, it's not going to be as big as before," he said, "because we spent so much money on this building, paint-wise."

Any new mural would have to be Jimi Hendrix or '60s-related, Zeidan said. "No butterflies or crazy stuff."

1524 Haight Street

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