Sunday, July 29, 2007

Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie was the vision of world renowned modernist architect I.M. Pei. (Among his works, Pei is credited with having designed the Louvre's magnificent glass pyramid.) Arguably the most distinctive building in Montreal, the tower's smooth aluminum and glass surface and crisp geometric form set new standards for architecture in Canada in the 1960s.

Place Ville Marie's most distinctive feature was its cruciform (cross-shaped) 45-storey tower. Shops, restaurants and cinemas were located below a vast plaza, playing a key role in what became Montreal's unique below-ground pedestrian walkway system.

The rivalling CIBC Building was completed in 1962, only a few months before Place Ville Marie. Touted as the "tallest building in the Commonwealth", Place Ville Marie surpassed it later that year, when a last minute penthouse was deliberately added to the building...


The photos from this post (excluding the last one) were taken by an amateur photographer upon PVM's opening in 1962. Over 40 years later, Bob (a retired banker and retired antiques dealer now living in Stayner, Ontario) uploaded the fab photos to

In his description of the set, he states:

"In 1962 when the building was opened, my father was employed with the Royal Bank of Canada. To celebrate the opening of its new Head Office, the bank invited staff and their families to an open house and a tour of the new facilities. I would have been about 16 at the time and was just getting started with a 35mm camera, when I, my parents and my two brothers attended the open house. I documented the visit photographically, getting 21 shots out of roll of 20, all of which appear in this set."

Click here to see the entire flickr set.

PVM's plaza, as viewed from Dorchester Boulevard (today Rene Levesque).

The south plaza and the reflecting pool.

Place Ville Marie's south entrance.

The ground floor (plaza level) reception area.

A large Safety Deposit Vault was located on the mezzanine level.

A corner office, typical of what would be accorded a General Manager in 1962.

Reception area for the office of the bank president.

This presidential office suite was located on the 4th floor.

Generous square wells provided daylight as well as access to PVM's shops.

A view of some of the boutiques in the underground shopping center.

Michèle Richard poses on the steps of PVM's plaza, in the late 1960's.

images: all, except Michèle Richard: Echos Vedettes

Today in Expo 67 History: July 29

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pink Party

The invitation for the party, designed by yours truly.

Last Saturday, my dearest friends and I got together to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday. (In our circle of friends, there are many birthdays in July, so I like to get mine out of the way early...)

The theme for this year's birthday festivities? Pink!

Guests were asked to wear pink and bring a pink dish for the buffet. Rosé wine was the drink of choice for the evening, while fare such as salmon, fresh watermelon, and anything strawberry was enjoyed by all.

I've always loved pink, it's such a hopelessly retro color. It makes me think of 50's convertibles, cotton candy, frosty lipstick, etc.

What better way to celebrate my 30th birthday?

Click on the above image to see the photos from the party.

Today in Expo 67 History: July 9