Did you know that legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix lived in Vancouver during his early childhood? Well he did, in what was once Vancouver’s primarily black neighbourhood, Hogan’s Alley (on the southern edge of Chinatown/Strathcona). That neighbourhood was destroyed and eventually displaced the small minority once the viaducts were constructed. Few remnants from that neighbourhood remain, one such landmark (at least to those that value Jimi’s contribution to music) is a the home of Nora Rose Moore Hendrix, who was Jimi Hendrix’s grandmother. Jimi stayed with his grandmother during the summers. It’s believed he practiced guitar here and it’s now the site of a shrine to Jimi. Problem is it sits in an area that is ripe for redevelopment, which would be accelerated if the viaducts are to be taken down, something the City of Vancouver is considering.
According to the Georgia Straight article by Carlito Pablo, the owner is not selling unless a fitting tribute is part of the package. Here is a blurb from the article:
In 2009, Fodera opened a modest shrine for the dead rock legend at 207 Union Street on the site of what was once either Vie’s Chicken and Steak House or a next-door building virtually attached to it. Hendrix’s grandmother, Nora, supposedly worked there as a cook.
Now developers are eyeing Fodera’s property for condos. But he said he’s not biting.
The site itself is in need of some TLC and it would be great if a developer was to come in and not only have a portion of the building dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, but also maintain the shrine. I applaud Vincent Fodera (owner of the property) for not wanting to sell. Only time will tell what would happen to this historically significant music site. For the time being, the Jimi Hendrix Shrine remains.