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Fountain Chapel

823 Jackson Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/11/21

Exterior view of Fountain Chapel; City of Vancouver, 2008
front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Fountain Chapel
Basel Hatha Methodist Church
African Methodist Episcopal Church of Vancouver
First Scandinavian Lutheran Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/12/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fountain Chapel is a one and one-half storey gabled Arts and Crafts institutional building on the northwest corner of Jackson and Prior Streets in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood.

Heritage Value

Constructed in 1904 as the First Scandinavian Lutheran Church, the Fountain Chapel is valued for its historical association with the history of black settlers in British Columbia and Canada, for its spiritual, symbolic and social values related to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and for its simple building aesthetic.

The Fountain Chapel is important for its historic association as the church for Vancouver’s black community before World War Two. It is representative of the immigration of black settlers to British Columbia and western Canada in the early 1900s, attracted by a combination of promotional literature and growing political and economic discrimination in a number of American states.

Hogan’s Alley was the local, unofficial name for Park Lane, an alley that ran through the southwestern corner of Strathcona, the only neighbourhood in Vancouver with a substantial and concentrated black population. The establishment of the chapel in an existing church building purchased in 1918 was the first significant act by the black community in Vancouver, resulting in the church becoming the community’s spiritual and social heart, gathering place and centre for gospel singing.

The place has social value related to its past and continuing use as a church and a gathering place for the local community. It is also important for its connection to local resident Nora Hendrix (1883-1984) the paternal grandmother of Jimmy Hendrix and the driving force behind the purchase of the church. Value is also found in the church’s role in assisting the youth of the community in the 1950s through the work of Reverend J. Ivan Moore, the first Canadian-born minister in charge of the chapel and a leader in youth work. It is also integral to the story of early urban renewal in Vancouver, a process which was completed without community consultation and resulted in the dispersal of the Hogan’s Alley black population.

Built at the same time as the early houses in this residential neighbourhood, the building is valued as a rare and strong example of an Arts and Crafts institutional building, a simple domestic building form adapted to liturgical and social functions. As with many early churches, it is residential in nature and constructed of wood. The building is symbolically important as the last surviving architectural reminder of Hogan’s Alley and the African Canadian community.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Fountain Chapel include:

- Location at the corner of Jackson and Prior streets in the former Hogan’s Alley area
- Siting of the building at the rear of the property with no appreciable setback from the back lane
- Location of the front entry element at the north end of the building and the building’s orientation to Jackson Street
- Original steeply pitched gabled-roof building form
- South facing bay window with its own gable roof
- Front porch bay (with gable roof) on northeast corner of building
- Small gabled roof element at the south end of the building
- Tiny side gable dormer forms for ventilation
- Original window locations and openings (though not original sash material)
- Original shingle siding and trim
- Arts and Crafts detailing, including wood brackets, half timbering and shingles in the gable ends



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.582

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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