“The majestic and ornate interior of our church has been lovingly maintained over many years by the members of our parish community, never asking for outside help.
Presently, the outside of our church building, known by some as a neighborhood “onion domed jewel”, has come to a state of dire need. Given the constant changes of the cold and moist Vancouver weather, a slow deterioration of the roof and cupolas has set in.
A formal Restoration Fund of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church has been established by the parish, a registered Charity with Revenue Canada, to collect funds to maintain the exterior of the building. All donations greater than $10.00 are tax deductible.”
Here’s the link to the appeal page.
On June 2, 2012 I had the pleasure and honour of being part of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s plaque presentation to Benny’s Italian Market. It was the heritage house tour weekend, Benny’s had tents and tables set up, the grill was turning out sausages, onions and red peppers, there was pasta too.
Francesca Benedetti spoke for the family and Jane Banfield represented the Foundation. I spoke on the plaque program and the research undertaken to create the 125 plaques and why I nominated Benny’s. A great afternoon.
The plaque text reads: The neighbourhood grocery store is the cornerstone of a community and Benny’s Italian Foods has served the Strathcona neighbourhood (Vancouver’s old East End) since 1917.
It is an important surviving and thriving example of a family enterprise once common in Vancouver. The founder and family patriarch, Alfonso Benedetti, immigrated from Abruzzo, Italy in 1909 and opened an ice cream parlour with a friend who he eventually bought out to set up Benny’s.
In Loving Memory of Alfonso and Violet Benedetti
I’ve been working on the write ups for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Places That Matter Plaque Program and stumbled across competing dates for the construction of the former Fountain Chapel.
Depending on the source the church was either built in 1903 for the German Lutheran congregation or in 1908 for the Norwegian Lutherans. The City’s Statement of Significance muddies the water by claiming it’s 1904 for the Swedes – but they were up on Dunlevy and Pender before moving to Heatley at Pender in 1910.
Further complicating matters is a building permit for the Norwegian Lutheran Church in 1910. So a quick check of the fire insurance maps shows a 1 storey building on site in 1903 and the current church in 1912.
1903 Fire Map
1912 Fire Map
So the German Lutherans used the original building in 1903 and Norwegian Lutherans took over in 1908 and built a new church in 1910 to the design of architect Frederick Mellish.
In 1918 it became the spiritual home to Vancouver’s black community as a chapter of the African Methodist Episcopal church, better known as the Fountain Chapel. Nora Hendrix helped spearhead the campaign to purchase the church.
There is a movement to have the new library on East Hastings named in honor of local resident Mary Chan. Mary was instrumental in organizing the Strathcona Community against urban renewal and the freeway. Her daughter Shirley says “Mary worked hard to canvas community support for the Strathcona Community Centre and as a former teacher in China and tutor in Vancouver, she would be so proud to be associated with a library.”
Warm those pens up and send letters to Mayor and council and the Library board. this is a great idea.