Adam Yauch Park
Following his tragic death from salivary gland cancer in 2012 aged just 47, the city of New York chose to honour one of its most celebrated musical sons by renaming a park after him a year later.
Adam Yauch, better known by his stage name of MCA, was a key member of punk rock turned hip-hop trio The Beastie Boys, who won millions of fans worldwide with hits such as ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)’, ‘Sure Shot’, ‘Sabotage’ and ‘Intergalactic’, and widely acclaimed albums like 1986’s Licensed To Ill and 1989’s Paul’s Boutique.
Yauch was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Beastie Boys along with band mates Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond and Adam ‘Ad Rock’ Horowitz in April 2012, less than a month before his death.
On 3rd May 2013 the Park, in the Brooklyn Heights neighbourhood where Yauch grew up was renamed from The Palmetto Playground to Adam Yauch Park in his honour. The recreational area, then known as State Street Park, was loved by the artist and his family, with the young Yauch frequenting it as a child and even learning to ride a bicycle there. Ad Rock and Yauch’s family attended the opening ceremony.
Yauch was also a respected film and music video maker, establishing a film production and distribution company called Oscilloscope Laboratories. He was also a practicing Buddhist, and founded the Milarepa Fund which organised the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits to bring awareness and support to the Tibetan independence cause from China.
The park itself boasts a wide variety of different attractions, including a community garden, various types of trees, a playground featuring basketball courts, a greenhouse, a fitness area, an open play space, drinking fountains, and a running area for dogs.
Location: 27 State Street, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA 11201
Jimi Hendrix Park
An eponymous park celebrating Seattle’s most famous rock son was opened to the public on 28th June 2006, using funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy. The park was one of the first commemorations of the Jimi Hendrix’s legacy by the his home-town of Seattle.
Fittingly, Jimi Hendrix Park is located next to the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle’s thriving Central District, as the legendary guitarist made a significant contribution to African-American musical history. The park is close to where a young Jimi grew up, covers 2.3 acres of land and is open daily from 4 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. at night.
In recent times, the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park and the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation have raised over $1m dollars to redevelop the park, and the grand opening will take place in July 2014, according to the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.
Currently, the park features a large open lawn area with fine views of the city, a few trees and a dedicated parking lot. But the new design promises much more, with bold, electrifying colours more befitting of Hendrix and his psychedelic vision.
Location: 2400 S Massachusetts Street, Seattle, Washington, USA 98144
Louis Armstrong Park
Arguably her most famous musical son, legendary American jazz trumpeter and popular music icon Louis Armstrong has certainly earned the lasting tribute to his brilliance, an eponymous park in the heart of New Orleans.
Armstrong- or pops as he was widely known- changed the course of jazz and popular music forever, his unique gravelly voice and innovative trumpet and cornet playing earning him international acclaim.
Armstrong had several pop hits too, with ‘What A Wonderful World’, and ‘We Have All The Time In The World’ (which was featured on the soundtrack of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and topped the British charts) to mention just two, becoming classics in the popular music canon.
Armstrong has influenced or inspired generations of musicians as diverse as Miles Davis, James Brown and Tom Waits.
His eponymous Park is located at 701 North Rampart Street just on the edge of the historic French Quarter, The park is located in the Tremé neighbourhood, birthplace of many of New Orleans’ most famous jazz musicians.
The park itself is open from dawn to dusk, and has an imposing, gated entrance with the name Armstrong spelt out over an arch. Inside the park there is much to enjoy including a sculpture of Armstrong himself and other jazz greats, several ponds, trees, and lots of green, open spaces to relax in (for those with all the time in the world).
The park is adjacent to the historic Congo Square (formerly Place de Negres), where slaves once gathered on Sundays to sing, beat drums, sell home-made items, and celebrate their unity and culture.
The park is known to host Martin Luther King Day celebrations annually, and also features weddings, festivals, concerts and more within its confines.
A must visit location if you make it out to the Big Easy.
Location: 701 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 70116
Tom Petty Park
On 20th October 2018, on what would have been his 68th birthday, the park where the much loved late rocker Tom Petty regularly played as a child was renamed after him.
Tom Petty‘s family, friends and fans were there to witness the renaming of the Gainesville, Florida park – previously known as Northeast Park – in his honour, just over a year after his tragic death.
Petty’s brother Bruce addressed the crowd about how he and Tom grew up in the park, while his daughter Adria also spoke at the unveiling of the new new sign, which features a full length image of Petty with his guitar on a red background, the exact same shot that featured on the Heartbreakers’ Damn The Torpedoes LP.
Location: 400 North East 16th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida, USA 32601