Written by By Anastasia Sazonova, CNN
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 12, 1915, but his legacy is something of a cross-country love affair.
While Sinatra devotees from JFK to Halle Berry to Michelle Obama have paid tribute to the singer this year, the true shrine to Sinatra’s legacy is in Hoboken — the city where he lived for more than 50 years.
Although Hoboken has the second most Sinatra songs in music history, thanks to the singing and piano-playing of Sinatra’s sister-in-law Barbara, the singer is also fondly remembered for his time at the Hoboken Navy Yard Yacht Club, with his long-term partner, Mia Farrow.
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Sinatra died on August 12, 1998, shortly after performing at a New York City concert. His last public appearance took place on June 28, in his son Frank Sinatra Junior’s 30th birthday celebration in Manhattan.
A memorial honoring the star has been a long time coming. A plot in his birthplace was turned into a recreation of the family home, but in 1995 Sinatra (neither born in Hoboken nor a graduate of Hoboken High School) donated the old Hoboken hardware store where he earned $6 a week. The building, which now has an old-school Italian look, became the Frank Sinatra Appreciation Garden .
The Frank Sinatra Park at Hoboken’s Sinatra Park is a project of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, whom CNNMoney spoke to about the statue’s origins.
The Mayor spoke to CNNMoney’s Soteria Lindeman via a Skype call on December 20, 2018, about the plans for a statue honoring Frank Sinatra.
Presidential candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have performed at the Garden — as well as dozens of other notable musicians like Shakira, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett.
The Mayor says the area is known for the music of Frank Sinatra and other, more contemporary celebrities, like Bruce Springsteen, but not as much for Sinatra himself.
So this summer, thanks to the generous help of Sinatra’s friend Bruce Springsteen, a bronze statue of the singer was sculpted on Sinatra’s childhood home grounds.
The statue will be unveiled in the spring. But two years of conversations — and a hefty political donation — are finally paying off.
Zimmer and artist Bruce Horkey spoke to CNNMoney’s Soteria Lindeman on December 17, 2018.
According to Zimmer, the statue will feature a signature Sinatra pose, taken from a photo taken of the singer on a family trip to Italy before he started to sing professionally. The statue will be placed next to a statue of Sinatra’s parents, which was placed in 2007 in Sinatra Park, but this new piece will be a striking replacement.
The Mayor says that a pier on the Hoboken shoreline was donated for the sculpture, which she believes will be the highlight of Sinatra Park.
Rockstar-style pyrotechnics will accompany the unveiling of the statue. Perhaps modeled after the famed “Sinatra Lady” itself — a female figure who demonstrates Sinatra’s unique vocal style, according to the Mayor — the sculpture will also include a custom section for a recorded message, in which the singer gives thanks to Hoboken.
The Mayor adds that the extension of the Sinatra culture into Hoboken isn’t just a one-time thing. “We’re bringing on additional performers as part of the arena and park.”