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Kenadian

Montreal 1956

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They didn't even score a single vote, but twenty years before Mayor Drapeau and team won over the IOC in Amsterdam, there was a Summer Games bid from Montreal for the Games of the XVI Olympaid. Melbourne narrowly defeated Buenos Aires to host but Montreal did have a plan and it centered on Parc Maisonneuve, now better known as Parc Olympique.

stade-archives_2.jpg

maquette-stade-olympique-montreal-1954-h

As you can see, the proposed 1956 bid fits into the same somewhat triangular spot that eventually played host to the 1976 Olympics and Roger Taillibert's concrete beast. Bound by four streets - Sherbrooke, Viau, Pie-IX, and Pierre-de-Coubertin (formerly Boyce) - this park was long viewed as the eventual home for an Olympic Games in Montreal. As you can also see, the Maurice Richard Arena built in 1962 and used for boxing and wrestling at the 1976 Games, is also hinted at in this 1950s plan.

parc-olympique-montreal-olympic-stadium-

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I actually prefer that Montreal 1956 concept over the chunky clunk that was eventually built for 1976. It is somewhat similar to the plan Melbourne presented for 1956, and largely never realised due to budget issues.

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Melbourne simply offered a new stadium to be built at the Royal Showgrounds.

Then came up with the idea of a new stadium connected to the existing MCG.

Which finally, they decided to simply renovate the MCG with the Olympic Stand being built.

More politics than budget, by 1954 the city was told to get their act together or the event would be moved to Rome.

So if it was clear set that Melbourne would have built a new stadium, then it would have been built. With perhaps a rush to the finish to get it done. It would have been one of the most modern stadiums at the time.

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Melbourne simply offered a new stadium to be built at the Royal Showgrounds.

Then came up with the idea of a new stadium connected to the existing MCG.

Which finally, they decided to simply renovate the MCG with the Olympic Stand being built.

More politics than budget, by 1954 the city was told to get their act together or the event would be moved to Rome.

So if it was clear set that Melbourne would have built a new stadium, then it would have been built. With perhaps a rush to the finish to get it done. It would have been one of the most modern stadiums at the time.

Additionally Princes Park was also considered as a venue for an Olympic Stadium + Pool and smaller indoor arena (currently the site of Optus Oval).

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The stadium in the Montreal 1956 model looks surprisingly elegant and roofed for a design from the early 1950s. The only thing that looks odd are those two pylons at the unroofed end of the stadium. Those look very much as if the designers of the model simply copied them from Berlin's Olympic Stadium. But that's also surprising - one would have thought that in the early 1950s, one would have avoided like crazy any reference to the stadium of the "Nazi Olympics".



EDIT: Sorry, I saw only now that the 1956 host city election took place already in April 1949. So that design above is even from the late 1940s! Amazing.

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