CIVIC LEADERS | R.I.P. Mayor Art Phillips :: 1930 – 2013

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Art Phillips 1930 - 2013

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Art Phillips, Mayor of Vancouver from 1973 to 1976

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He beat Mr. Peanut, stopped freeways and saved Chinatown and Gastown.

He met Mitzi Gaynor (Vancouver’s Sweetheart”), rode a horse with élan, and – as pointed out by Canada’s National Newspaper – was a “handsome man with an enviable crop of hair.”

Art Phillips will be remembered for his gentlemanly nature, his philanthropy, and for his vision of Vancouver where quality of life was the measure of greatness (see excerpts from his inaugural speech, below).

Art Phillips, along with that other Arthur (Erickson) represented Vancouverites’ wishes for a better, people-centric and more equitable city during that brief shining period in the 1970s when change was in the air and made concrete. He was irreplaceable and will be missed.

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“This photo shows Mr. Peanut listening in to incumbent Mayor Art Phillips talk with an unidentified man. It’s the only photo from the files of The Vancouver Sun showing the two mayoral candidates together.”

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Art Phillips, Mayor of Vancouver, stands on the roof of Vancouver City Hall in November 1972. (The Globe and Mail)

Art Phillips, Mayor of Vancouver, stands on the roof of Vancouver City Hall in November 1972 Photo > The Globe and Mail

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22 August 1974 – A crowd gathers on nearly-completed Granville Mall to hear opening ceremonies presided over by mayor Art Phillips. Workmen scurried up to last minute but failed to finish job. Photo > George Diack, PNG

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29 March 1974 – Mayor Art Phillips accepted a challenge to take the bus from city hall to a meeting downtown. The challenge stemmed from his recent suggestion that motorists leave home in favour of bus travel. After five minutes wait, he hopped on the bus and chatted with passengers for the 12-minute ride to the Board of Trade building. Photo > John Denniston, PNG

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1974. Art Phillips as Captain Vancouver garb. Photo > Glenn Baglo, PNG

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1975. Mayor Art Phillips in the saddle. Photo > Ralph Bower, PNG

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CVA 2010-006.304 – PNE Parade, 16 August 1975 Photo > Ernie H. Reksten

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1976. Art Phillips and Carole Taylor

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1976. Art Phillips and Mitzi Gaynor Photo > Ian Lindsay, PNG

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1978. Art Phillips and Pierre Trudeau. PhotoDeni Eagland, PNG

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AFT PHILLIPS 1

City of Love and Revolution: Vancouver in the Sixties

City of Love and Revolution: Vancouver in the Sixties 2

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Four Seasons Hotel Coal Harbour Vancouver
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What Four Seasons eventually built at Pacific Centre after being chased away from the entrance to Stanley Park
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designKULTUR  - Robson Square - The 55-storey Tower Concept.

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CANADA 1973 Vancouver $1.00 on Hibrite Paper in Block of 4 Stamps Mint NH

CANADA 24 October 1973 Vancouver $1.00 on Hibrite Paper in Block of 4 Stamps Mint NH

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North Americans have regarded their cities as places to work in and get out of rather than places to live in an enjoy

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TEAM 1973-1976

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Art Phillips Park

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CVA 772-255 – Burrard [Street] and Dunsmuir [Street] looking West

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Photo > iioe

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Discovery Square at Burrard Station renamed Art Phillips Park. Illustration of Burrard Station by the amazing Ron Love.

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I had originally suggested Robson Square be renamed in Art Phillips’ honour, but the idea to rename Discovery Square came from Carole Taylor, Phillips’ wife, who soon after my column ran, emailed me that Phillips was really attached to Discovery Square.

Wrote Taylor:

“I won’t have the story exactly right, but apparently BowMac was one of three owners of that triangle space when Art was mayor and they decided to move up to Broadway. So the land was for sale, presumably to put a building there. Art thought it was the perfect place for some open space, but also to reserve for a transit stop. He went to the surrounding owners, including Bentall and said, ‘You would benefit from open space and possibly a transit stop here, so how about you guys putting up half the money? The city will put up the other half and we will preserve this open space for the public.’ Voila, open space, flowering trees and transit.”

It didn’t hurt that Phillips also happened to walk his dog, Daisy, there every day.

– Pete McMartin, “Art Phillips Park”

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Photo of Carole Taylor and Art Phillips > Vancouver’s amazing Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

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A class act whose legacy lives on

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Voony’s Blog | Vancouver courthouse Blocks 51-61-71: The Final Erickson proposal

Voony’s Blog | Block 51: the North Plaza

Voony’s Blog | Vancouver 1966: The Erickson/Massey proposal for block 61 and the Downtown core

Culture Seen | In Vancouver: ‘Mr. Peanut never talks – past, present or future’

Culture Seen | In Vancouver: Mr. Peanut, the nut who made headlines

The Vancouver Sun | Photos: Former Vancouver mayor Art Phillips through the years

City Caucus | Now that’s journalism – 1973 Vancouver City Hall profiled

City of Vancouver | Art Phillips Park

Calgary Herald | Pete McMartin: Art Phillips Park — can we get it right this time, please?

The History of Metropolitan Vancouver | The Paradise Makers: A Pivotal Year

 City Caucus | Mayor’s Inaugural Address, 3 January 1973 PDF 

City Caucus | TEAM members take a walk down memory lane

designKULTUR | ARTISTS : Vincent Trasov :: Mr. Peanut for Mayor

The Globe and Mail | Former Vancouver mayor Art Phillips dies

The Vancouver Sun | Reformist changed city’s direction PDF

 Price Tags | The Context of the Times: The Art Phillips Era

The Vancouver Sun | Art Phillips dead at age 82: Former mayor, set the stage for Vancouver’s future as a livable city

 The Globe and Mail | Obituary by Rod Mickleburgh :: Visionary mayor Art Phillips remade Vancouver PDF

The Vancouver Sun | Friends remember Art Phillips, a ‘lovely and inspiring’ man PDF

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