Thursday, January 08, 2009

There's no barricades on Seventh Ave. and Broadway

I would imagine Portage and Main had more of a "Times Square feel" when there were still buildings there (including actual theatres). What stood on the site of the city's biggest TV screen from 1950 to 1989 was the delightfully graceful Art Moderne Toronto Dominion bank building, which rounded out the corner of Portage and Notre Dame quite nicely.


To the shame of this city, the Toronto Dominion bank was demolished, not as part of the TD tower scheme--as the Child's, OH&N, and CNR buildings were--but after it was built, as this Flickr photo album of the demolition and building process shows. Allegedly, the out-of-town architects that designed the tower had planned the main entrance to be at the front of the building right at the NW corner of Portage and Main, but changed it when they found out that there was nothing at the NW corner but a concrete bunker. So the old TD building was demolished to make way for a new entrance and a plaza, which is now becoming a little more garish.

What does it say about the city's economic being when the nexus of that city is more physically sparse than it has at any time since the 1870s?

Manitoba Historical Maps

Perhaps the Curry Building across the street could be demolished to make way for the world's largest La-Z-boy recliner.

***

The editorial writer(s) at the Free Press ripped apart the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Main Street offices and parkade today.

"For all its travails, Main Street has never stopped being a place where people live, as well as work and the appearance of a behemoth parkade treats that as an afterthought."

But of course, the design's digression from dreadful to appalling is the fault of no one, and it's going to enjoyable watching the pointing match between Centre Venture, the City, the Province, WRHA, Stantec Architecture, and the construction company.

10 Comments:

Blogger Bryan Scott said...

"...it's going to enjoyable watching the pointing match between Centre Venture, the City, the Province, WRHA, Stantec Architecture, and the construction company."

All parties deserve a slap on the toosh for this one.

4:07 PM  
Blogger average city said...

Start the slapping with WRHA and Centre Venture and go from there.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Mr. Nobody said...

Whats the construction company to do with anything. ( One slap on the toosh saved )

5:58 PM  
Anonymous kid zubaz said...

Slap on the toosh...more like a fist planted in their collective mouths

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was there even an architect for this building?

R&S, do you remember any open houses or seeing any pretty pictures in the centre venture windows?

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty pictures on the CentreVenture windows are only allowed if the development was Annitta Stenning's, or had nothing to do with CentreVenture at all.

1:00 AM  
Blogger The Rise and Sprawl said...

Anon #5, I have walk by Centre Venture's office almost every day since before they moved in there, and I have never ever seeing any of the actual drawings for this building. They hardly even displayed the "nicer" conceptual ones.

Anon #6 has it right.

6:28 AM  
Blogger The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

Enjoy, Rob.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/main_street_complex_not_as_billed.html

7:05 AM  
Blogger Mr. Nobody said...

You know I was looking at this picture and it seems that they had architectural issues in the 50's. They built what I assume to be a "modern ' building of the day ( looks like a concrete bunker ) beside an older ornate building.

Maybe we are the new 1950's guys. Personally, with the technology we have at our disposal, I don't understand why you can't replicate a turn of the century building.

But without guidelines what do you expect. As long as the roof doesn't leak, sprinklers work, handicap issues are resolved, its all good.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What does it say about the city's economic being when the nexus of that city is more physically sparse than it has at any time since the 1870s?"

It says we've got it all wrong. And, trust me, it's only going to get worse.

If you want 7th & B'way, you know where to find it.

5:42 PM  

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