Nearly a decade after it was closed, the former children’s home that inspired John Lennon‘s classic Beatles song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is set to re-open.
The BBC reports that the Liverpool building, which is currently owned by the Salvation Army, plans to convert it into a “training center for people with learning difficulties.” The article goes on to add that the organization has also presented the city council with plans to open the site for public visits — and although a spokesperson stressed that this is all in the “early consultation stage,” they hope to return the original distinctive red gates, which were placed in storage in 2011, to the entrance.
Readers may recall that Strawberry Field was in the news last year, when a vandal defaced the replacement gates with yellow paint and wrote “There is always a field for imagination. John you know you should be glad” on an adjacent wall. At the time, the Salvation Army seemed inclined to keep the originals locked up; as the organization said in a statement at the time of the incident, “It’s saddening to have our worries about the gates confirmed, but we are thankful that the original gates remain safe.”
Whether the new building is open to the public or not, it shouldn’t be much more than a footnote for curious Beatles fans, as the original structure was demolished in the 1970s. Either way, the Salvation Army stresses that its primary plans for the site have nothing to do with the band. “It’s about enhancing the lives of young people,” said the spokesperson. “Preparing them for work and giving them a work-based training center.”