Jul 2014 7

Photo Essay: Jimi Hendrix’s (Almost) Lost Strathcona

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Strathcona is the oldest residential neighbourhood in Vancouver, yet we almost lost it. In the 1950's the whole neighbourhood was scheduled for demolition and would have been replaced by a vast area of identical blocks of social housing apartments and townhouses. Luckily, a strong opposition from the community stopped the development, although the area with a strong black community connected with Jimi Hendrix didn't survive the so called "Urban Renewal" plan.

Jimi Hendrix's Childhood Hangout

Nora Hendrix, the famous musician's grandmother lived a few blocks from Hogan's Alley, an often overlooked African-American area on the southern edge of Chinatown/Strathcona that was destroyed once the viaducts were constructed. During his boyhood, little Jimi spent many summers there, possibly playing music in the building of the Vie's Chicken and Steak House where Nora worked and which also hosted a number of visiting black performers such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong. Few remnants from the neighbourhood remain after the demolition, but one such landmark was transformed into a peculiar memorial. A couple of years ago Hendrix fans created one of Vancouver's most unique urban curiosities by converting a small red brick building at 207 Union Street, that used to be part of Vie's, into a shrine where you can find old pictures and also several letters of correspondence between Jimi and his Grandmother. Make sure you give generously as this place is kept open by visitor donations only.

01 East VanEast Van
02 Seafaers Club Seafaers Club
03 Community Center Community Center
04 Hendrix Shrine Garden Hendrix Shrine Garden
05 Hendrix Shrine Hendrix Shrine
06 In front of the Hendrix Shrine In front of the Hendrix Shrine
07 Strathcona Strathcona
08 La Casa Gelato Inside La Casa Gelato Inside
09 La Casa Gelato Stuff La Casa Gelato Stuff
10 La Casa Gelato La Casa Gelato
11 Strathcona House Strathcona House
12 Strathcona Building 1Strathcona Building
13 Hastings Mill StoreHastings Mill Store
14 Hastings Mill Store 2Hastings Mill Store Inside
15 Strathcona GroceryStrathcona Grocery
16 ChinatownChinatown
17 Sun Yat Sen GardensSun Yat Sen Gardens

Meet The Photographer: Kevin Eng

Kevin EngKevin Eng

Kevin's passion for photography has encouraged others to see the splendor and beauty of nature right at their doorstep, as he captures the sights of the day, and colors and mystery of world while it sleeps. Many of the subjects of his work are based locally in his hometown in Vancouver, B.C., where he first discovered his fascination with night photography. Kevin is currently working as a music teacher, music director for his church, and landscape photographer.


One Response to “Photo Essay: Jimi Hendrix’s (Almost) Lost Strathcona”

  1. Travel Underwriters

    Yikes, without Strathcona, Vancouver would be so boring. Who wants to see cookie cutter houses sprawled around everywhere? While it’s nice to introduce modernity, It’s important to have unique, and eccentric nooks around as well– makes exploring our city much more interesting!

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