Fate of historic Eamon's gas station uncertain
With no tenants secured, city votes to keep mid-century building in storage until February
The push to preserve an iconic mid-century service station that stood on the city’s northwestern outskirts for decades might be running out of gas.
In its heyday in the 1950s, Eamons Bungalow Camp featured cabins, a restaurant and a gas and service station for people driving the old highway between Calgary and Banff.
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In 2012, the city bought the service station and put it in storage to make way for park-and-ride lot for the Tuscany LRT station at Crowchild Trail and Rocky Ridge Road N.W.
The original Art Moderne-style sign was preserved and now stands at the entrance to the lot.
The city had planned to put the building back on the site, but no prospective tenants have stepped forward.
On Friday a city committee voted to keep the building in storage — at a cost of $1,100 a month — until February.
After that, if no buyer is found, administrators are recommending it be demolished.
So far the city has spent $225,000 to move and store the Eamon’s building.
Calgary Heritage Authority chair Scott Joliffe asked the committee to keep looking for a tenant.
"Eamon’s is a unique resource in our opinion, the finest remaining building of its type in North America. It deserves to survive on this site so it can again contribute to the community and add to the quality of life of all Calgarians," he said.
"The easiest fish to catch are the ones underneath the boat. Let's not let this one get away.”
But Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland, who represents the area, said it’s time the city cut its losses.
“We’ve explored having the building at different locations, one of them was Heritage Park and they weren't interested and at this point, we don't have anybody even interested in taking the building,” he said.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating agreed.
"We can't expect taxpayers to foot the bill on every heritage building that's in the city," he said. "This is one of those buildings that has to come forward with a private developer or a business that's going to make it viable and pay the bills or it has to go."