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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
Less detail
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Civic Address
7741 Edmonds Street
Description
Commercial building.
Associated Dates
1961
Other Names
Lost in the 50's Drive-in
Street View URL
Google Maps Street View
  1 Image  
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Other Names
Lost in the 50's Drive-in
Civic Address
7741 Edmonds Street
Associated Dates
1961
Description
Commercial building.
Heritage Value
The Arrow Neon Sign was built in 1961 by the Neonette Sign Company of New Westminster when this property was opened as the Tomahawk Drive-in Restaurant. The restaurant was later known as Lindy's Burger and in 1990, the business was renamed Lost in the 50's Drive-in. It stands 20-foot tall and is composed of a large double-sided hollow steel panel serpentine arrow mounted on a pole supporting a lexan sign panel measuring approximately 8 feet wide by 4 feet tall. The sign was designed with three illuminated features: a round lamp at the top of the pole, a double-sided rectangular fluorescent sign panel box, and two double-sided rows of orange neon arrows that follow the large serpentine arrow. The Arrow Neon Sign remains as a rare surviving example of neon sign art in the city and is the only historic neon sign in South Burnaby. The sign has gained prominence over the years as it has been associated with this small iconic drive-in which has also been utilized as a set for film production. Additionally, the drive-in has played a prominent role in the Edmonds community as a popular setting for recent "Show and Shine" participants to park their classic cars.
Locality
Edmonds
Historic Neighbourhood
East Burnaby (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Lakeview-Mayfield Area
Builder
Neonette Sign Company
Community
Burnaby
Contributing Resource
Structure
Ownership
Public (local)
Subject Access
Buildings - Commercial - Restaurants
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Edmonds Street
Street View URL
Google Maps Street View
Images
Less detail
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