August 25, 2014: The Jimi Hendrix legacy continues to build, this time in the form of a park in the Seattle neighborhood where the late guitar legend grew up. The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department renamed a 2.5 acre community park “Jimi Hendrix Park,” in 2006. Shortly afterward, a group of community members, with the support of the Hendrix family and Experience Hendrix, LLC, came together to make plans and begin fundraising for further developing the site to honor the life and music of Seattle’s most celebrated guitar hero.
Developers finally broke ground at the park in July, and most of the construction will take place through 2015. Plans are to include a stage for live performances by local musicians, as well as several creative tributes to the music of Hendrix -- some still in the works -- including lyrical stepping stones, rain drums, and a sculpted butterfly garden. In honoring the somewhat psychedelic nature of Jimi’s music -- wait…somewhat psychedelic? -- the park will be designed to look like a melting, psychedelic guitar. The curving, rambling neck will recount the history of Jimi’s life in timeline fashion.
The park is situated in Seattle’s Central District, next to the Northwest African American Museum. It is hoped that the new Jimi Hendrix Park will draw some of the many international visitors who trek to Seattle to visit the Jimi Hendrix gravesite, and that it will serve to inspire youth to follow and develop their own creative imaginations. It is not too late for those who have been inspired by the music and guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix to make donations to the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation.
-- Adam St. James