The famous musician spent his childhood and youth until the formation of Nirvana will be open to the public for tours. Its current owner also plans to build a museum and
Cafe in Aberdeen, on the west coast of the United States, to commemorate the rock icon's life.
Thanks to an administrative act of the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, the musician's childhood home in Aberdeen (Washington State), on the west coast of the United States, where Cobain lived from 1969 to 1984, was declared officially in the State Register of Heritage of cultural importance.
The house is currently owned by Lee Bacon, who spoke to Rolling Stone magazine and shared his plans to renovate the property so that it is precisely what it was like when Cobain lived there. To that will be added memorabilia of the musician and a museum dedicated to his artistic career that is 95% ready, waiting to welcome fans of Nirvana and this rock icon very soon.
Neighborhood zoning regulations will prevent the structure from becoming a full-time museum, but Bacon is exploring ways to open it this spring for an occasional private tour.
Our goal is to pay tribute to Kurt's early life and career at home," he says. The next chapter is how to make it.
Bacon and his wife, Danielle, bought the house in 2018 from the Cobain family for 225,000. Next year, Bacon, who works in the lighting design business, told RS that he intends to begin the restoration process. Since then, Bacon has had to work.
The house needs some remodeling. For example, the current façade is yellow, but originally its color was like "a light-colored fern and dark mint colored." The interior includes Cobain's family's original dining table and porcelain sideboard and his bedroom mattress and toddler bedroom set used by Cobain and his sister Kim. At Bacon's request, the kitchen retains 1970s plywood cabinets with canary yellow pharmaceutical countertops.
But the Bacons are not alone in this endeavor, as they have the help of Kurt's sister, Kim Cobain, who has served as a guide to recreate the house as it was in his childhood.
At a zoom hearing on June 29 to approve the addition of the building to the State Heritage Register, the nine-member Governor's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation discussed Bacons request.
In it, they argued that "the property is directly associated with an individual who made a significant contribution to a community or group of people."
Allyson Brooks, executive director of the state Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, acknowledges the unusual nature of the request. "It's rarely considered a children's home," says Brooks. But, overall, we want to make sure that we acknowledge that something happened in a vital childhood home. In this case, Kurt Cobain developed his passion and musical skills in Aberdeen and this house. The council voted unanimously to approve the request, which Bacon says was emotionally rewarding.
Brooks says the result of that vote (which wasn't made public until last week) didn't surprise her. "We had no rejection," she says. "Everyone on the council recognized the importance of the place."
But according to Brooks, being on the registry does not necessarily mean that the house will be protected forever, in case some other owner wants to modify it in the future. "It's just an honor," she says. "There are no state protections for the property."
To complete the experience of Kurt Cobain's life, Bacon has also purchased a 7,620 square meter building in downtown Aberdeen, which he plans to convert into a "Tribute Lounge and Gallery Café."
The venue will be entirely dedicated to Cobain's memory and will include music samples, photographs, memoirs, and shots of the musician during his activities with Nirvana, most of which were acquired by grunge photographer Charles Peterson.
Bacon says the Lounge will "tell the story of the house" and Cobain's early years in Aberdeen. In addition, guitar luthier Larry Brooks will provide the backstory of the custom-built Jag-Stang guitar he built for Cobain, and Bacon is considering including fan-donated items.
Lounge and Cafe would be "the starting point for information, tours, and exclusive transportation to the family home," which is a mile and a half away.
Entrance to the exhibition will be free, as it will be for any possible visit to the house. Since the home is in a residential neighborhood, Bacon hopes to offer tours "on special days, events, or special-order events. We are working on the logistics of how it could be. "
A plaque is also being prepared for the front of the house, which Bacon believes will be especially important as we move away from the heyday of Nirvana and Cobain's death in 1994. Bacon says we have to write it for someone in the future, 20 years; he wants to know about Kurt. We want it to be for someone who doesn't know who they are.