Jimi Hendrix to get a guitar-shaped park in Seattle

Dec 19, 2011

One of Seattle’s best known and beloved sons, Jimi Hendrix, is about to get a new park. It’s scheduled to coincide with what would have been the guitar hero’s 70th birthday.

For lovers of classic rock, or the electric guitar, it begins and ends with Jimi Hendrix, and that’s especially true in Seattle’s Central District where Hendrix, a Seattle native, spent many early years of his tumultuous childhood.

“They know his family, they know his relatives, he’s really important in that particular neighborhood. And he really is their hometown boy made good,” said Pamela Kliment, the Parks Department Planner who’s been working with a variety of grassroots groups to come up with funding and designs for the park.

The final design chosen just last week is a 2.5 acre park next to the Northwest African American Museum. It’s vaguely in the shape of a guitar and includes a walk way that looks like a fret board.

Ivana Begley is with the landscape design firm Murase, which created the plans.

“We started from the center, the heart of the guitar shape. The body of the guitar are mounds and you can sit up high on these mounds underneath a row of polonia trees that will bloom purple as this purple haze in the spring,” Begley said.

But Kliment says, it’s not all about rock n’ roll .

It wasn’t just going be this Jimi Hendrix memorial place. But the idea was to really enliven it and to make it a place that people in the neighborhood would want to come and visit.

The park is being funded by donations from Hendrix’s stepsister, Janie and a roughly $500,000 dollar Neighborhood Matching Fund Award. The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park will begin their fundraising efforts next month.

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