Viretta Park, Seattle
Categories: Nature & Parks
Viretta Park is a 1.8acre park in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle, Washington at the foot of E. John Street at 39th Avenue E., stretching down to Lake Washington Boulevard E. It was named by Charles L. Denny after his wife, Viretta Jackson Denny. It is located to the south of the former home of Kurt Cobain, where he died. Nirvana fans gather at the park on the anniversary of Cobain's death (April 5), and to a lesser extent on his birthday (Feb 20), to pay tribute to the musician.The park's wooden benches, serving as the de facto memorial to Kurt Cobain, are covered with graffiti messages to the rock icon. There has been much speculation over the years on whether the name of the park should be changed to "Kurt's Park", due to the late rock icons large fan base.Howard Schultz controversyThe first version of Friends of Viretta Park group was formed by area neighbors during a controversy with former neighbor and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who formerly lived to the South. Schultz later moved to a new residence.Viretta Park RepairIn 2010 a group known as Viretta Park Repair was formed, according to its website: "to repair and restore Seattle's Viretta Park and looks to create a memorial for Nirvana's singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain who died next door to the park". Its first work party was scheduled on Kurt Cobain's 44th birthday on Saturday, February 20, 2011. Volunteers came from all over the Western portion of the United States and SW Canada. The next series of scheduled work parties scheduled for March 13, 2011 and April 5, 2011 were shut down by Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams after a neighbor complained about memorial events and sculpture that do not exist, but which were actually scheduled for Aberdeen, Washington.Plan your visit to Viretta Park and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Seattle travel itinerary maker.
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Having seen this park & that house in the news and in lots of documentaries growing up, this place, rightly or wrongly, is a must-see for fans of Kurt / Nirvana and those on a grunge pilgramage. We we... read more »
I am so happy I got to come here! It was quiet and serene. The park is an unofficial memorial to Kurt Cobain. It is located next this his home. There are views of his house. It is near Lake Washington... read more »
I parked on on 39th and John, the entrance to Viretta Park. Then just took the stairs down to the bench. There's a pretty good view of the house from the stairs also another view of the house on 39th ... read more »
Andrew N Bre
This is just one bench under a tree with no view of Kurt's house due to overgrown plants. It's tiny and really out of the way not much to see. It's a 30 min drive for 5 minutes with of sights. Their is no parking you have to park in the neighborhood.
A must for any Nirvana and Cobain fan. A sad memory of a music giant who got me and millions more into great music. A small and not kept park behind Kurt's house with two benches to leave your mark.
Somber with tears shed for the loss of the voice of my generation. May he be in peace from his inner turmoil.
I've lived in Seattle for almost 10 years now and had never before stopped by this morbidly famous site. Kurt and Courtney's old house, the spot where Kurt took his life (unless you're into the conspiracy theories about his death) and Viretta Park are right beside each other along Lake Washington Boulevard. Viretta Park is a tiny little lot that has only two benches, one of which is used as a shrine to Kurt. On the 21st anniversary of his death, I found the time to go to the house and the park next door. These days, the house is hidden mostly by vegetation and a big front gate. The above-garage apartment / greenhouse where Kurt took his life was demolished back in 1996. You can get a little closer to the house by walking down a well-worn path in the park, but there still isn't much to see from there. The bench is probably the only real "site" to see. Seattle parks repaints the bench, but it doesn't take long for it to fill up again with Kurt's lyrics, photos of Kurt, fan letters, flowers, picks and graffiti. The closest relic of those days comes in the form of this tree, which someone had carved "RIP" and the date into - sometime in either 1997 or 1998. The tree hasn't yet fully healed, much like the fans visiting the bench today - still listening to the music and wondering "what if."
The nicest way to get from Lake Washington Blvd to 39th.
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