I want to tell you about a really inspiring guerilla art project and accompanying blog.
Though I have lived in Vancouver almost all of my life, I’d never heard of Hogan’s Alley until a member of the Vancouver Guerilla Gardening Group put out a call for help with an installation for the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project.
Hogan’s Alley was the first and last neighbourhood in Vancouver with a substantial concentrated black population, and prior to 1935, was a happening red-light district. It was demolished in the 70s by the construction of the Georgia Viaduct.
The Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project is a grassroots cultural organization dedicated to keeping this history alive; one of their members, artist Lauren Marsden, spearheaded this floral tribute to the neighbourhood. She writes, of the project:
The civic powers write — sometimes in floral text — messages welcoming you into the municipality. But what about the unofficial spaces? Those that were not named by the city, but named themselves? The municipalities within municipalities? The lost ‘hoods? The ghost ways?
Red impatiens welcome you to the old commuity. If you’re in the vicinity of the green space near the Dunsmuir Viaduct, at 200-block Union Street — the old site of Hogan’s Alley — check it out. Hopefully they last through the summer.
The Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project’s blog is a fascinating look at this forgotten neighbourhood.
Images from Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project.