The city council votes unanimously to name a park after Jimi Hendrix. At the time the 2.5-acre space is just a grassy field next to what would become the Northwest African American Museum
The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park, which includes Jimi’s adopted sister Janie, begins kicking around modest ideas for developing the space, including the purchase of a bench and a few tree
Two years after embarking on the project, the Friends and its nonprofit fundraising arm hire landscape architecture firm Murase Associates to develop a more ambitious plan.
Murase holds three public meetings to solicit input on its designs, which include a guitar-shaped walkway, a rain garden, and a stage. The Seattle Times reports that construction will begin in 2012.
Fundraising begins. That fall the nonprofit launches a $285,000 Indiegogo campaign for a steel wall with Hendrix-shaped cutouts. It raises $5,000. Construction won’t begin until 2013 at the earlies
The Seattle Design Commission rejects the park’s design with a 5 to 0 vote. Among other criticisms, the commission says the design “is neither abstract nor literal, which is not successful.”
After failing another design commission review in June, the park’s plan is accepted. Among other things, the adjusted design calls for the guitar-shaped path to be more interpretive and less literal.
Construction bids come in at more than 70 percent above the foundation’s projected budget of $1.5 million. Murase blames the improved construction climate; Seattle Parks suggests splitting construction into two phases.
A groundbreaking ceremony scheduled prior to bidding is held, but no ground is broken. “We’d already spent time, money, and effort to plan the event,” explains board member Maisha Barnett.
The project is rebid, with a California-based construction firm landing the job. It will officially be split into two, and the sound wave wall will be included in the second phase, which has no start date
Construction finally begins and should wrap in November before what would have been Hendrix’s 73rd birthday. “When you’re in the trenches, sometimes you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Janie Hendrix.
As of summer 2015, $840,000 (of the foundation's $1.5 million goal) has been raised.