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Helen 'The Swinging Girl' Neon Sign

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/landmark591
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Civic Address
4142 Hastings Street
Description
Commercial building.
Associated Dates
1956
Formal Recognition
Heritage Designation, Community Heritage Register
Other Names
Helen's Childrens Wear Sign
Street View URL
Google Maps Street View
  3 Images  
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Other Names
Helen's Childrens Wear Sign
Civic Address
4142 Hastings Street
Associated Dates
1956
Formal Recognition
Heritage Designation, Community Heritage Register
Enactment Type
Bylaw No. 12771
Enactment Date
19/04/2010
Description
Commercial building.
Heritage Value
While the building here is of some importance as the former North Burnaby municipal office, its primary importance is its delightful neon sign that has become a North Burnaby landmark. Helen Arnold opened Helen’s Childrens Wear shop in the building next door to the old Municipal offices in 1948. In 1955, when North Burnaby moved out, she moved into the vacated building. As part of the renovations, Helen enlisted the assistance of her good friend Jimmy Wallace, owner of Vancouver’s Wallace Neon Company, to create a new sign for her expanded business. One of the company’s designers, Reeve Lehman, created the swinging neon girl that was installed in 1956. Designed in two parts, one section of the sign is cloud shaped and reads ‘Helen’s’ while the other section is a moving representation of a little girl on a swing. The sign is nine feet six inches high and nine feet wide, and the lower section is animated with an internal motor and gears. It immediately became a landmark on Hastings Street, and recently the sign’s design fame has spread far and wide as one of the best surviving examples of kinetic neon art in North America.
Locality
Vancouver Heights
Historic Neighbourhood
Vancouver Heights (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Willingdon Heights Area
Community
Burnaby
Name Access
Helen's Childrens Wear
Subject Access
Buildings - Commercial - Restaurants
Geographic Access
Burnaby - 4142 Hastings Street
Street View URL
Google Maps Street View
Images
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