One Of NY's Most Popular Attractions Dedicated 34 Years Ago

October 9, 2019

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John Lennon would have been 79 today (10/9/19). And while his life was short, his impact was large. Not just in music, but in society as a whole. And due to his affinity for New York City, and Central Park particularly, it was on his birthday in 1985, that the city he called home dedicated a special place to the former Beatle in his beloved park. Named Strawberry Fields, after one of the many hits he wrote over his brief career, Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono along with Mayor Ed Koch dedicated the 2.5-acre parcel on what would have been John's 45th birthday.

On April 16, 1981, just months after Lennon's assassination, Koch signed into law a bill that designated a section of Central Park as Strawberry Fields. Ono responded by offering to pay for the entire area to be planted with trees, shrubs and flowers. Her donation was $1 million split evenly between the cost of landscaping the area and an endowment fund to pay for its upkeep.

Landscape architect Bruce Kelly worked closely with Ono to design the teardrop-shaped plot. At its center lies a black and white mosaic with a single word: "Imagine," the title of one of Lennon's most iconic songs. The mosaic was a gift from the city of Naples, Italy. In all, a total of 50 different countries contributed items that were incorporated into the site.