Demolition looms for vintage service station (Eamons Thread)

Status of new or continuing risks to heritage sites

Moderator: newsposter

Postby newsposter » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:40 pm

Fighting to preserve a landmark

Cochrane Times
By Sarah Junkin

Posted March 30ish...

With the help of a prominent Canadian musician, a Bragg Creek man is determined that a local historic landmark should remain in the area, despite concerns from the City of Calgary. ... ?e=3521040
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Postby newsposter » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:35 am

City takes second look at saving Eamon’s Bungalow Camp

Public calls spur talk of storing historic N.W. property for eventual restoration alongside future LRT station

By Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald
April 18, 2012

There may be new life yet for the old Eamon’s Bungalow Camp garage sitting vacant on a future northwest construction site.

The city is taking a second look at preserving the 1950s heritage building after receiving phone calls from the public, new interest from the Calgary Heritage Authority and media attention.

Now, there is talk of removing and saving the mid-century Art Modern-style garage with its curved stucco walls and parking it off-site while officials decide what to do with it.

“This is a good interim solution. They can move it off the site and do the grading and work that needs to be done without the building out of the way,” said Ald. Dale Hodges at a city transportation and transit committee meeting Wednesday...

Read more: ... z1sV7VBpSu

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Postby LauraGrace » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:41 am

There is also a brief mention of the Eamon's Camp in this OpenFile headlines summary:

The city is being asked to foot a $500,000 bill to move the vacant 2,500-square-foot Eamon's Bungalow Camp building elsewhere on an LRT construction site, and to redesign station plans to include the historic site more prominently. Initial reports about the sign from the art modern-style architecture at Eamon's spurred interest across the city. Now, the city may consider several options for the property, including washrooms or a café. But doing a full restoration could cost between $1 million and $2 million. Ald. Shane Keating says he's concerned about that price, telling the Calgary Herald he doesn't want the city to buy anymore unneeded property or land.

Link: ... ilding-now

Looking forward to the Roundtable tonight!
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Postby LauraGrace » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:08 am

(Here's a new article speaking to last night's Heritage Roundtable)

Effort to save historic Eamon’s gas station grows: Iconic sign to be incorporated into new LRT station design

CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2012 7:41 AM MT

Plans are in the works to save the historic Eamon's Bungalow Camp in northwest Calgary.

The mid-century service station — with its signature art deco sign — was a fixture for many years at what is now Crowchild Trail just past Stoney Trail. Built in 1949, it also featured a restaurant and cabins.

But now the city-owned land is being converted to a park and ride lot for the northwest LRT extension
Earlier this week a city committee recommended the building be moved and stored until there is a plan to rescue it. And the city said the iconic sign will be incorporated into the new LRT station at Tuscany.

On Thursday night heritage groups in the city met to hear ideas for saving the building.

“This is just some of the conversation that in my opinion should have happened a number of years ago. And so we're starting that now,” said Donna Zwicker, who speaks for the Calgary Communities Round Table.

“There's still plenty of time for the city to be making some decisions about where they're going to go with this and so we've started now the conversation publicly.”

Recommendations for the building will go to city council in November.

Bob Everett, who owned the property from the mid-80s to the late-90s, said he is determined to see the building saved.

“Now I mentioned in an article recently I literally would chain myself to the building if there is a wrecking ball and you know and I hope, you know, that I'm not as disposable as the building because if I am then we're both gone,” he said.

Link here: ... ml?cmp=rss
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Postby LauraGrace » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:28 pm

Editorial: Saving Eamon’s Camp now seems more likely

Calgary Herald, April 26, 2012

The landmark Eamon’s Camp gas station has been given a second chance at life now that the city has put the brakes on demolishing the heritage building. The reversal is a partial victory for the Calgary Heritage Authority, which lists Eamon’s as a historic resource on its inventory of properties that should be saved.

The city’s transportation and transit committee recently approved revisiting the options for the future LRT station planned for the northwest site upon which the 1951 garage sits. The city is considering a number of new scenarios, only one of which calls for the building’s demolition.

The city’s transportation department initially recommended disposing of the building and simply retaining the sign. The change of heart is better late than never. Planners are going back to the drawing board now, five years later, for a review that reflects the old way of thinking that still occasionally afflicts city hall. Officials look at the gas station and see a tired and neglected garage that has limited opportunities to be repurposed.

It is just a garage, granted, but one that is a rare example of corporate architecture from the 1950s. There are just three remaining gas stations from that magical postwar era of the automobile industry. Calgary is an oil and gas superpower today, but it all started with the automobile. Gas stations like Eamon’s once dotted the North American landscape; a testament to how the automobile drove the economy back then. The industry gave rise to jobs, a middle class and cars so cheap, that by the 1950s, teenagers were buying their own wheels for just $25. The automobile didn’t just change America, it changed Calgary as well.

The Eamon’s garage and sign are all that’s left of the 1950s “one-stop tourist centre” on the old Highway No. 1, where drivers would stop and gas up on their way from Calgary to Banff. According to the historic assessment, the building’s architectural significance is that it represents the art moderne style of design, which features curved stucco walls illustrated by the wing profile of the station, and the “dynamic geometric form of the entry canopy.”

The vertical sign is an integral part of the station’s profile. Administration wants to remove the building temporarily and store it off site while the park-and-ride site is prepared. The building would be relocated to a new spot within the lot, and the sign would be refurbished separately, as planned.

That option risks damaging the structural integrity of the garage by lifting and moving it twice, and keeping it in storage. Never mind the needless extra costs. It also compromises the historical relevance of keeping the building and art deco sign together, in their original context and site.

The best option identified by administration is the proposal that calls for exactly that scenario. For the same estimated budget as the option preferred by administration, the city could redesign the future LRT station around the historic garage, but with fewer parking stalls than originally calculated.

Fewer parking stalls seems like a small price to pay to be true to the rich history of Eamon’s. The sign and the station must remain together, and restored at their original location.

Link here: ... z1tYNuXQgg
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Postby newsposter » Fri May 04, 2012 3:50 pm

Goes to City Council May 7...
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Postby newsposter » Mon May 07, 2012 9:41 am

Recommendations to conserve the Eamon's camp building and sign by removing, storing, seeking options to re-use, and then re-plant it at the Rocky Ridge LRT site, were approved by Council 12-3 in favour.

Here is the agenda item: ... ype=AGENDA
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Postby 00fxd » Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 am

This is good news I hope? Sound like a pre plan to "Save the sign" and then compromise the building at a later date when no one is looking and then set the sign back to pacify those concerned. Saving the sign isn't that big a deal - there will be many that would be more than happy to aquire same for collections. The issue here is to save the integrity of the site.
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Historic Eamon's gas station to be saved

Postby cjane » Mon May 07, 2012 1:17 pm

Good news - this morning Calgary City Council voted to save the Eamon's gas station 12 to 3 (Chabot, Demong and Keating opposed).

The long term possible additional cost to re-use the building was a point of discussion. During contruction, the building will be removed from the site and re-incorporated into the design for the LRT station and parking lot.

Check out the CBC article at:

Herald article: ... story.html
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Eamon's Camp - Vote now!

Postby cjane » Tue May 08, 2012 8:55 am

Further to yesterday's support from city council, today's Calgary Herald asks, "Do you think the Eamon's building is worth preserving?" Vote now to show your support.
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Postby LauraGrace » Tue May 08, 2012 9:13 am

Here's one from CBC...

Historic Eamon's gas station to be saved
CBC News Posted: May 7, 2012 12:27 PM MT

A mid-century service station in northwest Calgary will be preserved, city council decided on Monday.

The remains of Eamon’s Bungalow Camp are on Crowchild Trail just past Stoney Trail where the future Tuscany LRT station and park and ride will be constructed.

The former gas station, built around 1950 in the Art Moderne style, featured a restaurant and cabins. The remaining building and its art deco sign remained landmarks long after the business closed.

Council voted to spend about $500,000 to remove the building from the site during construction. It will then be returned and incorporated into the LRT development, possibly as a cafe. The original sign will also be salvaged.

The cost of leaving the structure and working around it was estimated to be about $1 million.

The building dates back to 1951 when it was opened as a stop for people driving along the highway between Calgary and Banff.

Article here: ... -plan.html
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Postby LauraGrace » Tue May 08, 2012 9:14 am

And one from the Calgary Sun:

Council saves iconic gas station threatened by LRT expansion

First posted: Monday, May 07, 2012 11:35 AM MDT | Updated: Monday, May 07, 2012 05:59 PM MDT

The wrecking ball won’t come down on a mid-century Calgary landmark, as council voted Monday to save a historic former gas station.

But taxpayers will be on hook for a half million dollars to pay for its move and storage.

A council majority voted to save the historic Eamon’s Bungalow Camp in northwest Calgary, a 1950s service station designed with a signature art deco sign.

The city will spend $500,000 to move the building, put it in storage and eventually include it in an LRT station site redesign.

Built in 1949 and featuring a restaurant and cabins, the landmark was a fixture for many years at what is now Crowchild Tr. just past Stoney Tr.

The city-owned land is being converted to a park-and-ride lot for the northwest LRT extension.

Ald. Shane Keating said he doesn’t mind saving the landmark, but taxpayers shouldn’t pay for its restoration which could potentially cost up to $2 million.

“I just don’t think we can do that,” he said.

“I didn’t mind saving it even though we could have saved money by demolishing it.”

Keating said he’s OK spending “a little bit of money” to save Eamon Camp, but the city shouldn’t shoulder its pricey restoration.

He said groups interested in refurbishing the building should pay for it.

Ald. Richard Pootmans said he thinks there’s significant public support in restoring the building.

“I think that’s an investment the city should make,” he said.

“I think it’s an interesting addition to a transportation development because it’s history of course is one of the first auto-related service centres on the road to Banff.”

Pootmans said the structure is important because it’s one of the few unique landmarks of the city.

“Our city is very young, the number of really interesting, unique and appealing structure and artifacts we have is not getting larger and it’s diminishing all the time.”

“This is one that’s very public, at very high profile location at the end of an important LRT line.”

While the building won’t be demolished, bureaucrats have to investigate the cost of its restoration to help council decide whether the city should pay for it or not, said Pootmans.

“I think once we have some appreciation of what the costs are, we’ll be in a better position to look at what are the various financing options might be,” he said.

Link here: ... -expansion
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Postby newsposter » Thu May 10, 2012 10:00 am

Here is another article, about one potential use for the site, as a cafe. It seems to me a natural with the classy building and proximity to the train station, and for the local community there isn't much else nearby. I think this is a bit different than the early failed experiments of putting dingy little stores directly in stations (selling burned coffee, gum and smokes, as I recall...) That never really worked out. Anyway, here is the story:

Finding a retail use for Eamon’s gas station building could be tricky
By Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald May 8, 2012

Read more: ... z1uUFaBnA1
Last edited by newsposter on Thu May 10, 2012 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby newsposter » Thu May 10, 2012 10:05 am

And here is an interview with historian Harry Sanders about Eamon's from the CBC Homestretch show on May 8: ... preserved/
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Postby newsposter » Wed May 16, 2012 6:49 pm

Eamon's Super Service features on the province's Alberta's Historic Places blog:

http://albertashistoricplaces.wordpress ... age-scene/
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