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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Being an Art Historian: Montréal Week - Architecture

adidat montreal One of the things I most look back on (in pictures and in my memories) in the places that I have visited is architecture. I can think of or look at a photo of a particular cultural institution, train station, exterior of a house or other building, and immediately be transported back to that place!

Here are some of the places I would most like to visit on an architectural tour of Montréal:
March_d) Centre d'histoire de Montreal 

The Centre d'histoire de Montreal is a museum in Old Montréal with 3 floors 
focusing on the history of the city. One of the current exhibits is:
 Seems pretty perfect for this week's theme, doesn't it? The museum especially appeals to me because it only costs $3 to get in! 
Cours Mont-Royal
Cours Mont Royal
The Cours Mont Royal was built in 1922 and was once the largest hotel in the British Empire, housing 1,100 rooms! It is now a multipurpose complex with boutiques, restaurants, apartments and offices. 
City Hall, Montreal Photo via Tsohao 
Montréal City Hall has a more turbulent history than its peaceful façade suggests. The building went up between 1872 and 1878, and survived a severe fire in 1922. And it was from this balcony that French President General de Gaulle uttered his famous “Vive le Québec libre!” (Long live free Québec) during a state visit in 1967. Take a moment to admire the Hall of Honour or, better yet, sign up for a guided tour. At dusk, when it is lit up it is absolutely spectacular. - from tourisme Montréal

Perhaps the most famous site in Montréal, Habitat 67 was designed by McGill University architecture student Moshe Safdie as urban three-dimensional housing concept. 
  Habitat 67 is located on an invented peninsula: la “Cité du Havre.” Its intrinsic genius is indeed praised by both the architectural and the urban planning circles, by the public in general and particularly by its residents. During Montreal’s Expo 67, Habitat 67 became a thematic pavilion invaded by thousands of admiring visitors that came from all around the world, on top of being the temporary residence of many dignitaries passing by Montreal. Habitat 67 was an event in itself at the time. It still is today. - Montréalité
For a really detailed architectural tour, and to go 'back in time' through many centuries, take a look at this Historic City Centre/Old Montréal site. The site features great maps, hundreds of photos and a good amount of historic background about the different sites! When I plan my trip to Montréal, you better bet I will be referencing that site - don't want to miss any great buildings!