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Kenadian

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Everything posted by Kenadian

  1. Oh, almost forgot. One of the zaniest ideas for Expo 67 was to "borrow" the Eiffle Tower for the 6 month World's Fair and put it up in Montreal. The estimated cost was $12 million...much cheaper than building a tower. The deal was almost struck, except at the last minute that the owners of the Eiffle Tower backed out over fears that if they moved the tower, they might not be allowed to reassemble it Paris. Drapeau really wanted that tower!
  2. He had that even before Expo...
  3. In case you were ever wondering why they chose a design with a stadium and tower at Montreal's Olympic complex, the answer is pretty simple....Mayor Drapeau. For the Olympics, Montreal required a new stadium. While the IOC required an open air stadium for athletics, Montreal's after Games use for the stadium (baseball, concerts, big events) required that it have some form of protection against the harsh winters of the region. Hence, the idea of a retractable roof. Now while this would be the worlds first fully retractable roof stadium, there were other technologies available in the 1970's that could have made for a much simpler mechanism that what was installed at Stade Olympique. Except that Drapeau wanted an architectural masterpiece and more than that, he wanted a tower. At Expo 67, Drapeau wanted to build a tower that would be a 20th Century Icon for Montreal combining the height of the Eiffle Tower and the lean of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The initial plan called for a 325m (1066ft) tall, slender monument to be built near Expo and represent the 325th anniversary of the founding of the city. It would curve upward and lean over the city. But it was never built due to the high proposed costs and the large amount of construction needed for Expo. So when the IOC awarded the Olympics to Montreal in 1970, Drapeau saw his opportunity to re-invent these modest self-financing Games and build his long coveted tower for the city and people of Montreal. Although, it would be done by the time of the city's 345th anniversary.
  4. That's true. The old US pavillion (which was very popular with visitors to Expo but generally hated by Americans) is now called the Biosphere and is dedicated to the environment. Another Expo site still in use is the French pavillion, now the Montreal Casino. As for the Montreal Tower, it will probably not face the wrecking ball, as it was recently leased to a consortium for 99 years - they are renovating the upper floors for office space.
  5. I've seen the artwork but don't know where it is...its got a yellow background and all the flags of the world. As for the stadium, I really don't think they will tear it down for a very long time, if ever. Despite the problems and the cost, it has become the city's signature landmark building. And with no plans to build a new stadium, I don't think they will implode the Big O. The Expos may not draw huge crowds, but the stadium still has many events - concerts, tradeshows, conventions...the stadium is multipurpose and a tourist attraction. The analogy to the Eiffle Tower holds some ground. Both were built for extravagant events, both reared controversy in their design, both angered the citizens of the city, both have questionable usefulness, both have been threatened with destruction, yet both have become the single most recognizable structure in their city. Can you name another building in Montreal? Stade Olympique just needs more time to gain acceptance as an icon.
  6. For more information on the Montreal Olympics, try this link. CBC Archives - the Games of Montreal The video and audio clips give a feel for what people thought of the Games, before, during and after and certainly demonstrate that the biggest problem encountered by the Montreal Games are the inflated egos of its backers and the corrupt ambitions of its builders. The video archive on Taillibert also features a young journalist reporting on the extravagances of the Games and its architecture would ironically, some 25 years after the Montreal Games would be questioned about her extravagances...yes, that young journalist is none other than future Govenor General Adrienne Clarkson. Also available with French language archives. Radio-Canada - Jeux de Montreal
  7. From what I could tell, the only new facilities built for 1976 were the massive Olympic complex (stadium, pool, & velodrome), the Olympic Village and the Olympic Basin (rowing & kayaking) near the old Expo site. The Stadium of course hosted the ceremonies, athletics, soccer and possibly the final equestrian event. The pool held all aquatic events and the velodrome had the cycling time trials. Shooting and archery were in the small town of Joliette. Sailing was in Kingston, Ontario. Bromont hosted the equestrian events. Other existing facilities were used - Molson Stadium at McGill University (for field hockey), Arena Maurice Richard near the stadium (boxing I believe?), the legendary Montreal Forum in downtown (gymnastics, I believe) - but I'm not sure if any of the Expo 67 facilities were used. I also believe that a number of sport facilities exist at the 4 universities that call Montreal home - they could have hosted a slew of smaller sports such as volleyball and handball. Some events don't really need facilities - like cycling road races - and others can use small halls or theatres, like fencing, weightlifting and wrestling.
  8. The Games invest huge amounts in security following a terrorist attack (the Munich hostage taking for the 1976 Games, the September 11, 2001 attacks for the 2004 Games)
  9. Montreal and Athens have a lot in common... 1/1/1976 - The velodrome is complete 2/2/1976 - Organizers reassure the IOC that the project will be ready 8/2/1976 - the final piece of the roof is installed (the "concrete awning", not the fabric roof) 29/3/1976 - the technical ring around the roof is complete (includes lighting etc) 7/4/1976 - the track and grass are installed in the stadium 15/4/1976 - the aquatic centre is finished. 10/5/1976 - the video screens and seats are installed in the stadium 15/5/1976 - the Olympic Village is complete 9/7/1976 - all construction at the Stadium ends 16/7/1976 - exterior landscaping is complete 17/7/1976 - 3:00 pm exactly - in front of her Majesty Elizabeth II, 73,000 spectators in the stadium and a half billion televison viewers world wide, the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXI Olympiad commence - and thousands of busy workers wipe the sweat from their collective brow.
  10. Oh, by the way here's the link to the new site. Montreal - la Régie des installations olympiques (RIO) The Montreal cauldron will burn during the period of the Athens Games as a symbol of the fraternity of Olympic host cities.
  11. The reason for the high costs and the reason the tower wasn't compete in time are the same - a labour dispute compounded by a brutal Montreal winter mixed in with a difficult piece of architecture and thrown together with corruption, recession and political intrigue. Their make-up schedule made Athens look like a picnic. This is what Stade Olympique looked like in 1975 - just one year before the Opening Ceremony. For the record, the Government of Quebec, which owns/operates Stade Olympique, just completely re-did the website (en francais seulement pour maintenant) and it is a HUGE improvement over the previous site.
  12. I think Montrealers are raised to hate that stadium. I think it was the cost that lingers with them and perhaps the arrogance that surrounded it, but other cities have had similar projects with similar results and similar egos but don't seem to hold as much bitterness as Montrealers do toward Stade Olympique. There are many people in the world that think it is a wonderful piece of architecture and the marvel that Drapeau and Taillibert intended. Nearly every travel book I've ever on the topic of Montreal mentions it as one of the top attractions in the city. Too bad - the city should realize what it has and embrace it instead of threatening to implode it or laughing at tourists when they want to visit.
  13. I find it so strange that the Montreal Games ended up costing as much as they did and being as behind schedule as they were because it was only 9 years earlier that the city welcomed the world to the 6 month birthday party that was Expo 67. Montreal's Olympics are often considered a failure while Man and His World, the sweeping theme for Expo, was a wickedly brilliant succes - perhaps the most successful of the 20th century. For Expo, they even built islands in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River, a whole new subway line and all within a few short years. The city attracted global attention and visits from many celebrities and political figures. Yet, 9 years later, the Montreal Olympics opened despite the fact that constructions cranes still loomed where the tower was to stand and a slew of planning errors, stikes, corrupt dealings and other problems that plagued these Games. They could build islands in time, but not a stadium. Where Expo was Montreal's highest achievement, the Olympics were probably marked the start of the city's decline. A billion dollars in the hole, eclipsed by Toronto, growing support for separatism, and a period of decline, the Olympics ended nearly a decade of Montreal uphoria. Still, I wish I wasn't just 2 years old at the time - would have loved to be part of the experience. It will be years before the Summer Games come to Toronto, and I hope within my lifetime, but at least I'll be there for Vancouver's party in 2010.
  14. The Facilities. Scale model of the Olympic Complex. Model of Stade Olympique. Model of the Velodrome. Model of the Olympic Village. The Olympic Village at Games time. The Olympic Complex...with its unfinished tower. Inside the boxing venue.
  15. I found a great cache of photos from the Montreal Olympics...Enjoy! The Opening Ceremony, July 17, 1976. Team Canada nears Stade Olympique. Team Canada rounds out the Athletes Parade. The Olympic flag is carried around the track at Stade Olympique. The flag is hoisted. And the flame is lit. Flag bearers prepare to take the Olympic Oath. The flame burns beneath the giant ring of the stadium's roof.
  16. I think the 1988 Seoul Games get overlooked a lot in discussions on GamesBids.com. We always talk about the terrorist attacks in Munich and Atlanta, the financial disaster of Montreal and how LA turned it around, the boycott years of Montreal, Moscow and LA, the huge success of Barcelona and Sydney, the construction worries of Montreal and Athens, the commercialization of Atlanta, and the impact that all of these things have had on the city, the country and the Olympic movement, but rarely do we ever mention the Seoul Games.
  17. If there is any truth in the idea that hosting a successful Olympic Games can be a positive thing for a city, it is Barcelona's hosting of the Games of the XXV Olympiad in 1992. The city's prestige, fame and popularity has soared upward like that firey arrow did 12 years ago. Clearly, the Olympics changed the city for the better.
  18. What a great resource for information on the '88 Games. I love how they detailed the Opening & Closing Ceremonies. I wish there were other sites like this out there for other past games - especially ones I have always been curious to see, like the ones before 1984 (my first Olympic experience was the LA Games).
  19. I was reading a book about the history, development and construction of Toronto's SkyDome. Did you know that in 1968, Toronto was planning a bid for the 1976 Olympic Games? The bid never amounted to much, because Montreal (then Canada's largest city) kicked its bid for the XXI Olympiad into high gear and won 2 years later. But they did have a drawing for the stadium. If I get my hands on it again, I'll scan and post.
  20. Most of the stadia see some use. Soccer games, track meets, concerts and other special events fill up the roster. Berlin's has long been used and will be upgraded in time to host WC 2006. London's Wembly has been demolished and is due for reconstruction. Helsinki's has been used for track meets such as World Champs. Melbourne's is a cricket ground. Rome's and Munich's are used for track meets and soccer matches - World Champs in both have been held there. Mexico's main stadium is part of the university campus. Montreal's is the most used - for baseball, the Grey Cup, trade shows, conventions, concerts and other big shows. The tower and velodrome (now biodome) are popular tourist attractions. Moscow's had awnings added since 1980, but is in need of repair. LA's is used for football and such. Not sure about Seoul? Barcelona's is used for soccer and is a popular tourist attraction. Atlanta's is now a baseball diamond - Turner Field.
  21. I don't see Vancouver as "compensation" for Toronto. Cities bid, not countries. Toronto's loss was mostly political. Nothing was going to stop Beijing. Remember that back in 2001 the US and China were saber rattling, a lot of people were protesting the idea of sending the Olympic Games to the capital of the People's Republic and great cities (like Paris) and great bids (like Toronto) didn't even get in the way. 2008 was China's destiny.
  22. Many considered Toronto's bid for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad to be the best competing for the 2008 Games, and possible one of the best ever. They lost to Beijing on the second ballot, but let's look back at this bid. Toronto the Good - the City Skyline at Twilight viewed from Lake Ontario. Toronto the Good - the Overall Games Plan Around the Harbour and Olympic Village The Proposed Olympic Stadium Area around the Stadium The SkyDome and CNTower
  23. Interesting enough, the German Pavillion at Monteal's Expo 67 was designed with the same style as the Munich Olympic facilities...
  24. My favourite stadia are: 1. Montreal – so bold, so daring, so unique - an instant landmark. Flawed in its execution, but brilliant in its design. 2. Munich – light and airy, almost like a dew-covered spider’s web. Still a winner. 3. Berlin – perfect symmetry and clean lines. Timeless. 4. Mexico City – often overlooked, but a classic beauty with its bright colours and Aztec mosaics. 5. Los Angeles – the arches make this relatively plain stadium an Olympian sensation. Barcelona ranks high on my list too. And while Sydney is nice, it isn’t an architectural wonder like most of the others on this list. Moscow probably has the most unattractive Olympic stadium in recent history.
  25. There are no renderings yet for the athletics stadium.
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