The Eagle Ford neon sign could make a comeback to Hastings St. (City of Burnaby Archives. Photo ID 537-580-59)

Burnaby’s iconic Eagle Ford neon sign could fly over Hastings Street again

The neon eagle may be making its return! 🦅

By Simran Singh | June 9, 2022 |5:00 am

An iconic neon sign could soon be shining bright over Hastings Street once again.

The Community Heritage Commission will receive a report on Thursday, with a recommendation to request council reinstate the Eagle Ford sign as a heritage landmark on Hastings Street.

The sign was originally located at the Eagle Ford car dealership at Carelton Avenue and Hastings Street and was installed in the 1950s. The double-sided sign, which measures 13ft tall and 9ft wide, became a well-known landmark in the area.

Eagle Ford closed down in 1985 due to the toll of the recession and the sign was transferred to a private collection. It remains in good condition and requires some minor repairs, such as replacing the neon tubing. Since 2012, the sign has been stored at the Burnaby Village Museum.

According to the committee report, city staff have completed a review of reinstalling the sign and have also determined specific locations of where it could go up,  logistics regarding mounting and providing electrical service, and the repair and conservation work needed.

Staff estimates the refurbishment and reinstallation of the sign will cost $110,000, and the cost includes establishing a conservation plan, public consultation, transportation, conservation and repair, and the creation and installation of a sign post and mounting bracket.

The $5000 cost of the conservation plan is covered by the 2022 operating budget. The report notes that the remaining  $105,000 would be included in the city’s 2023-2027 financial plan.

If the Eagle Ford sign’s reinstallment is approved, it will join another famous neon landmark in the Heights neighbourhood.

The Swinging Girl neon sign, which was originally made in 1956 for the Helen’s Children’s Wear Shop, was refurbished and reinstalled by the city at 4142 Hastings St in 2010. The Swinging Girl sign’s yearly maintenance works out to $1,996 and the staff report indicates the Ford Eagle sign’s maintenance would work out to a similar amount.

The Heights Merchants Association is responsible for the Swinging Girl’s electrical costs and the group is willing to cover those fees for the Eagle Ford sign as well.

Simran Singh

Managing Editor at Burnaby Beacon

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