Had he lived beyond his 27 years on the planet, Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix would have turned 75 today. At three places across the city marked by the guitarist’s presence — including a legendary tourist stop on Capitol Hill — CHS found few signs of the milestone.
At Jimi Hendrix Park, CHS found mostly leaves blowing in the wind across the “Little Wing” phase of the Central District public space just off S Massachusetts next to the Northwest African American Museum. The first portion of the park opened officially in October after years of community organizing and planning. More features including a park shelter are planned. Even more Jimi in the area is to come when Judkins Park Station opens in 2023 as part of the coming 10-stop East Link light rail system. The rocker is prominently featured in art planned to be part of the park-adjacent station’s design.
Hendrix is a native son of the Central District. His local library remembered his birthday. A “Celebrating 75 Years of Jimi Hendrix” exhibit is now in place at E Yesler’s Douglass-Truth Library. It’s a few blocks from one of Hendrix’s boyhood homes near 26th and Washington. CHS stopped by the library Monday and found “replicas of his most notable guitars, articles of clothing, renderings of his original art work, and countless artifacts” on display — but no rock music in the quiet library setting. The exhibit will be in place through January.
We also found Capitol Hill’s tribute to Hendrix much as it normally appears on any other day. The Hendrix statue in front of the Broadway Building on Broadway at Pine hails from the corner’s days as a home to AEI Music Network, an early player in the industry to provide on-demand music. There was talk at one point of moving the statue to Jimi Hendrix Park but then Elvis would be lonely.
As for his birthday, Hendrix has another legendary Capitol Hill connection to help mark the day. Hendrix might be buried in Renton but fellow November 27th birthday boy Bruce Lee is now a permanent Capitol Hill resident at Lake View Cemetery.