Jimi Hendrix Park Development

Updated: August 6, 2016

Summer 2016

The Contractor returned to the site this spring to finish the majority of the park construction. The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park have been actively seeking additional funds to add elements that weren't funded through the earlier project. They have been very successful and due to their efforts the central shelter and another link pathway will be included. The site will remain fenced until the turf is established and central shelter is complete.

The celebration for the park has been postponed until spring 2017.

THANK YOU to the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park for their continued support and thank you to the community for your patience during construction. 

Jimi Hendrix Park Plan

Location

Jimi Hendrix Park, 2400 S. Massachusetts Street

Budget

$500,000 from the Parks and Green Spaces Opportunity Fund;
765,000 from the Jimi Hendrix Foundation - fundraising still in process!
50,574 from the King Conservation District;
$100,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund Award for design and construction documents;
$74,000 additional public and private donations and generous community donations of time and materials to facilitate the design process

Schedule

Planning: 2011 - 2012
Design: 2013-2015
Construction: 2016
Completion: Spring 2017

Project Description

The improvements to Jimi Hendrix Park will create space that is welcoming and provides an experience that clearly defines its namesake. Phase 1 of the park development, designated "Little Wing," will include a new stairway and entrance at the southeast corner of the park, paved pathways, a chronological timeline of Jimi's life and career, enhanced landscaping with trees and native plantings, seatwall benches, ADA accessible walkways, rainwater infiltration gardens and a butterfly garden.

The vision is for a community space inspired by the electrifying music and story of Jimi Hendrix; a place where individuals of diverse backgrounds can gather, enjoy educational programming, celebrate cultural heritage and experience community pride with youth and adults.

Jimi Hendrix Park is 2.5 acres of open green space located in Seattle’s Central District at the boundary of two urban villages and adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum. The property is owned by WSDOT and leased by Seattle Parks and since 1997.

In 2006, using funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy, the old Colman school site was named Jimi Hendrix Park and transformed into the park it is today. The park currently offers a large open lawn area, not too many trees (good for flying a kite) and a parking lot.

In 2009, Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park, a grassroots community group formed to advocate for a more user-friendly park that would honor its iconic namesake and be the connection to several surrounding parks, the I-90 Trail and ultimately a link to Seattle’s Light Rail Rainier Station. Serving as a monument to Jimi’s vision and creativity, the Park will serve as a hub for inspiration, gatherings and community activities.

The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park received a Large Project Fund Neighborhood Matching Fund award of $76,800 from the Department of Neighborhoods and hired Murase & Associates.

A successful community engaged process led by FOJHP with architects at Murase & Associates developed a sustainable park design that encourages both active and passive recreation. The design includes:

  • Ground water re-direct to improve soggy turf and create interpretive rain gardens
  • Multi-use canopy with concrete floor for performance, outdoor classroom and other uses
  • Sculptural “wave-wall” depicting Jimi’s image
  • Strolling walkways that connect to all sides of the park with a grand staircase at the SE corner
  • Additional trees to increase the city’s green canopy and a butterfly garden utilizing native plants as hosts for improving the survival of regional butterflies displaced by urban sprawl

In plan view, the concept takes in the form of a guitar, with the frets of the guitar leading down to the southeasterly (Mt. Rainier direction) of the site. The southeast corner retaining wall will be cut down and a staircase brought through, to provide better connections to the community. The stem of the guitar is an opportunity for specialized paving, incorporating a time line of Jimi Hendrix’s life. At the terminus of the timeline, there will be internally lit columns that also can have cut outs with rich Jimi Hendrix imagery.

This preferred schematic design was presented to the public at the third public meeting in Dec. 2011.  

This project was selected for the first round of Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Funding. The application received in this community-initiated process is a preliminary concept and the final design may be constrained by the project budget. All projects will go through Park’s public involvement procedure which includes public meetings and community input. They will also go through an internal Parks process to ensure the most effective implementation.

Project Timeline

Construction Update: Winter 2015

The construction of the park is nearing the final stretch. Most of the concrete is complete, the irrigation is being installed, and topsoil is being placed. The park will remain fenced to allow for the establishment of the turf throughout the spring but the parking lot will be opened.

Schematic Design Summary Report

Construction Update: September 2015

The project is coming to life with the majority of underground utilities complete and much of the concrete work in place. The earth is being shaped and the site is starting to look like the concept plan. The Friends have been awarded a DON NMF and we'll be able to complete more of the original plan than anticipated this fall. A planting party is being planned for the end of the construction period and the community is invited to attend. More information will be available when plans are finalized.

Construction Update: July 2015

This month the contractor will be working on the concrete stairs and plaza at the southeast corner of the site. Work within the site will continue with earthwork and storm drainage systems.

Construction Update: June 2015

This month the contractor will be focusing on demolishing the wall at the southeast corner of the site, installing the sewer connection into the street, then starting to build the concrete forms for the new stairs at the same corner of the site. While this work is going on, other workers will be in the larger park area starting the installation of the utilities.

Construction Update: May 2015

Temporary construction fencing went up at Jimi Hendrix Park on April 29, 2015, and construction has begun! The project will last through the summer and is projected to be complete by October. This month the contractor will be focusing on mobilizing on the site and installing underground utilities.

Spring/Summer 2015

The long awaited development of Jimi Hendrix Park is underway and will last through the summer of 2015. A March bid process resulted in awarding the construction contract to ERRG, Inc. Stop by the project site to view the progress and visit the NAAM which will remain open.

Watch this website for the date of an opening celebration once the park is complete and ready for use.

August 2014

The park construction project was bid in June. The bids came in too high for the team to accept.  Seattle Parks and Recreation recommended re-bidding the project in early winter 2014 and extending the period for construction. 
Parks also recommend:

  • Phase construction by separating the North end pathway, Central Canopy and Wavewall into a future phase.
  • Reduce the number of redundant pathways while maintaining desired lines
  • Reduce the amount of specialty items and increase the constructability of the features

In light of the overbids, Murase took the Parks recommendations and value engineered the project into two phases. The first phase which FOJHP is calling Little Wing, will be re-bid  this winter for a spring 2015  to summer 2015 construction schedule. It will include: the main features of the park including utilities, grading, major pathways, grand entry stair and plantings. The second phase is yet to be determined, both in elements and timing.

Design development has been completed by the consultant, Murase Associates, with the community and Parks. The current plan and design narrative were approved by Parks in December 2011.

At the June 23, 2011 public meeting a presentation of the preferred schematic took place. The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park, with consultant Murase and Associates, completed three public meetings to create a design which meets the needs of the community and the goals of the project.