Today in 1980, Beatles band member John Lennon was murdered by a fan Mark David Chapman outside the singer’s apartment The Dakota in New York City.

I lived in NYC 2005 – 2007 near Strawberry Fields (72nd Street & CPW) and stopped by at least once a month to snap the ever changing memorial to one of the greatest songwriters, singers John Lennon.

The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was inaugurated on what would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday, 9 October 1985, by his widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project. The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the later part of his life, and where he was murdered. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, a reproduction of a mosaic from Pompeii, made by Portuguese craftsmen as a gift from the city of Lisbon. In the center of the mosaic is a single word, the title of Lennon’s famous song: “Imagine“.

John Lennon, born in Liverpool on Oct. 9, 1940, earned worldwide fame when he created the Beatles. Throughout his life, Lennon became known as a peace activist, artist, poet and philosopher, while still writing and recording seminal music. The former Beatle’s life was cut short on Dec. 8, 1980, in New York City when crazed fan Mark David Chapman shot him outside his apartment. He was 40. (NY Daily News)

Gary told me that he visits the local florist shops, and corner stores every morning. He tells them what he’s going to do, as most know by now, and they give him whatever he wants to decorate John Lennon’s memorial Imagine.

The Dakota where John Lennon lived with his wife Yoko and son Sean (this is also the spot where Lennon was shot). On the anniversary of his death she lights two candles and places them in the window. Occasionally she will walk over to Strawberry Fields, but will always show up on the anniversary of his death.

Shortly after his death, Yoko Ono donated $1 million for its maintenance. It has become a gathering place for tributes on Lennon’s birthday October 9, 1940 as well as the anniversary of his murder 12/8/80.

On John Lennon’s 25th Anniversary of his death 2005. I waited in line for 2 hrs to walk by the memorial, it was about 20F out and it was mobbed.

I imagine tonight will be as mobbed with admirers.