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Niagara Hotel

This is a funeral for the gone. The synthetic world spills and folds itself into the scars and seams and cracks of the old gold world of this spent one hundred years, and reshapes the human adventure in a whim. Once the pride and joy of Vancouver's trophy heritage neon signs, Niagara Hotel's replica Niagara Falls, a significant piece of Canadiana, is a sensational design of jubilation...60 feet above the ground with 45 feet of spilling blue-vein neon water, cascading down the cliff of the building four floors...crashing in a visual percussion of flashing silver spray on neon rocks edged by neon evergreen trees. A bloom of light in a dark world. A visual voice of inspiration for all that walk under its raw electric neon poem. In the eye zone it is pure public theatre. This amazing design is one of the most action-oriented neon pieces in Vancouver neon history. An advertisement with feelings. Penned by one of the most inventive force to have ever worked for Neon Products, designer Laurence Hanson. His creations include the original '40s 'Risty' the top-hat cat with a monocle eye and dancing cane at Broadway Granville, the exquisite Blue Eagle Cafe on East Hastings Street, cartoon 'Hootie the Owl,' the seen everywhere 'We Deliver' neon character for Rexall Drugs. Vancouver's long-time romance with the Niagara Falls neon has ended. The disturbing victim of a corporate safari. We will no more come to the crossroads of Richards and Pender and look up to be refreshed by that tall, cool, visual glass of culture'a touch of eccentric certainty: Niagara. The authentic Niagara Hotel is gone. There is a shift in Vancouver's heart.