Signs, especially the neon ones at night, would attract the attention of those with money to spend. In fact during the 1940s and 1950s, Vancouver's Golden Age of neon there were reportedly more neon signs in Vancouver than in any other city in the world besides Shanghai China.(Once there were 18,000 signs in our fair city.) Many of the signs are long gone, most notably the one for the Smiling Buddha Cabaret which is now in the Vancouver Museum. But a few are still there.
The Astoria Hotel with a live music venue and a boxing gym.
The Afton Hotel was built in 1912 by architect Arthur Julius Bird for owner R.B. Hamilton and was originally designed to be an apartment building. It was altered in 1914 when Burlington Tailors and Vancouver Postal Station Substation B on the lower floors and other government offices on the upper levels. In 1925 the upper floors were changed to a rooming house and the lower level went through a variety of merchants until the Ovaltine Cafe opened in 1942.
In 1968 four Irishmen purchased the building with the idea of turning it into an Irish bar with apartments upstairs. They hired a German fellow to do the construction and remodelling. Unfortunately for the Irishmen they ran out of money and couldn't pay Rudi when the job finished. So Rudi went to court and was awarded what became of Vancouver's most popular bars.
In 1978 Playboy magazine named one of the upstairs apartments as the most eligible bachelor pad in Canada. Those upstairs rooms must be something else.
So there is a little glimpse into the history of some of Vancouver's neon signs. Have a great weekend.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
TAGS:Vancouver, Karen Magill, Smiling Buddha, Blarney Stone,Dollar Meat Store,Dunn's Tailors,Playboy,history,