For over a decade, Seattle and the Jimi Hendrix estate attempted to construct Jimi Hendrix Park, located in the city’s Central District and walking distance from the legendary guitarist’s childhood home.
However, permits, funding and construction delays hindered the project until Saturday, when over 200 people attended the park’s June 17th opening, the New York Times reports. (Coincidentally, the opening came one day before the 50th anniversary of Hendrix’s legendary Monterey Pop Festival show when the musician set his guitar on fire.)
The park, which resides adjacent to the city’s Northwest African American Museum, brims with nods to the guitar god: The lyrics to Hendrix’s “Angel” and “Little Wing” are etched into the walkways, while another path modeled after the neck of a guitar is adorned by plaques detailing Hendrix’s life. There are also Hendrix-inspired sculptures – like the “Shadow Wave Wall,” the product of a $300,000 donation from Sony Music, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports – and a shaded performance stage.
Jimi Hendrix Park was originally scheduled to open in 2011 on what would have been the guitarist’s 70th birthday. However, numerous issues delayed the project, even after the city of Seattle, the Jimi Hendrix Foundation and the group Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park raised upwards of $1.5 million to bring the park into fruition.
“Every project endorsed by our family which bears Jimi’s name is meaningful to us, but this park holds special significance,” the rock legend’s sister, Janie Hendrix – who is also the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC – said in 2015.
“Seattle will always be Jimi’s home,” she added at the time. “This very area is where Jimi grew up, where his dreams were cultivated and his creative energy awakened, in many ways. So to see this amazing place of beauty, dedicated to Jimi and his artistry, blossom into reality is indescribably fulfilling. Having been involved in each facet of the park’s creation, I can honestly say that this musical garden is a fitting representation of Jimi’s imagination. It is truly inspired.”