Have you ever been parksperienced?
By Uncle Blurt
It’s not exactly Strawberry Fields, but at least it’s not, I dunno, Tupac Terrace: construction on the somewhat blandly-named Jimi Hendrix Park is expected to start next month in Seattle. I am not making this up. Rather than comment further—although it does occur that possibly “Electric Ladyland” would have been a bit catchier- I’ll just let you read the official press release, which follows after the schematic diagram of the proposed green. And yes, as you will surmise from the discussion below, they are actively soliciting donations (www.jimihendrixparkfoundation.org) to keep the project moving forward. Whether or not you think of it as a “worthy” cause it up to you. But it’s definitely one of the more intriguing ones!
After four years of planning and fund-raising, Jimi Hendrix Park took a major step closer to realization with the winning rebid of the development to ERRG, Inc. The City of Seattle is pursuing a contract with the company. ERRG, Inc. was chosen from among five bidders to transform an open green space in Seattle’s Central District into a celebratory space worthy of its namesake, hometown rock icon Jimi Hendrix. Construction at the 2.5-acre park, located adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum, is expected to begin in April, with opening of the new park features projected this fall.
“The Jimi Hendrix Park is the culmination of years of hard work, collaboration, creative input, and generosity invested in something we all believed in and constructed to commemorate an amazing human being. It is our hope that for generations, it will exist as more than an attraction or point of interest, but a place of homage to one of Seattle’s own. The landscaping, the artistic design, and the ambience all mimic the vibe of the persona of Jimi, whom this park honors,” says Janie L. Hendrix, Founder and Director of Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation.
Following a year-long public design process, the non-profit Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park launched a capital fund-raising campaign in 2012 that raised more than $1.4 million to finance construction of the first phase in a two-part project. The park plan aims to create an engaging space that celebrates the life, music and legend of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix.
Phase 1 of the park development, designated “Little Wing,” will include a new stairway and grand entrance at the southeast corner of the park at 25th and Massachusetts, paved pathways, a chronological timeline of Jimi’s life and career, enhanced landscaping with trees and native plantings, seat wall benches, improved fencing, ADA accessible walkways, rain infiltration gardens, a butterfly garden, and a central plaza for community gatherings and performances.
“The Northwest African American Museum looks forward to the opening of the new Jimi Hendrix Park. Together we form a premier cultural destination that celebrates African American art, history and culture, and the living legacy of an iconic musician who helped the world expand its definition of “black music” and continues to influence musicians today,” remarks Rosanna Sharpe, Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum.
Fund-raising continues to construct phase 2 of the park project including: additional pathways, pedestrian lighting, improved fencing, the installation of a central shelter and the centerpiece feature, a “shadow wave wall” depicting iconic silhouette images of Jimi Hendrix. The unique landscape design by Murase Associates of Seattle is expected to draw visitors from around the world as well as to serve as a local neighborhood gathering space.