Seville Theatre Site To Public Hearings

That was announced Monday in the Gazette and elsewhere. It appears that the main point of discussion will be whether the new project will be able to include one 25 storey tower which can not be allowed under existing zoning regulations. Will be very interesting to see how this plays out as it will obviously set the stage for other development projects around the city because if they allow this, every developer in town will start designing towers for almost anywhere.

The Seville is going to end up simply torn down. Makes for a kind of sad, stupid, and pathetic ending for one of the last old school theatres in the downtown area. Montreal is a city where we seem to want to take architecture seriously, we have one of the greatest world class research centers, a semi public think tank if you will, just a few minutes walk from the Seville site in the Canadian Centre For Architecture. Yet, our abilty to preserve key heritage sites has been less than impressive, particularly  in regard to theatres in a city where there was once at least one in every neigborhood.

Part of the excitement of this project, of course, is that the stretch of Saint Catherine street that became “run down” after the Canadiens left the Forum, will now be developed. But’s it’s as if that whole stretch was held ransom by what was going to happen to the Seville, as if the Seville was something special, a site that you just didn’t rush into with just any plan. The Seville was left out in the cold to rot until no one could possibly still  believe it could be saved and today some pretty nice chunks of change are going to be made from that site. I once believed we were better than that.

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