We were pleased to read of the work that will be done to the Verdun Auditorium on Montreal island.
Normally when we hear the word renovation we cringe. But if we read the CTV feature correctly, the project will integrate a nod to the buildings storied past as they modernize.
Under the redesign, as reported in the Montreal Gazette, the auditorium will be preserved, complete with its steel roof support trusses and wooden chairs that date back to the venue’s construction 75 years ago.But the dark brown aluminum cladding covering its front walls will be removed to expose its original Art Deco brick and glass facade. And the Denis Savard Arena that adjoins it will be demolished and rebuilt slightly farther to the east, allowing space for a glassy atrium between the two arenas that will provide a public gathering spot, better locker rooms, and a view over the St. Lawrence River that runs behind it.
Officials hope will restore it to the days when it was a major concert venue hosting the likes of Nirvana, Metallica and The Cure.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the renovations are expected to be completed in 2018. The City of Montreal will cover half the cost, with additional funding coming from Quebec, Verdun and other sources.
Although several Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams played there, the last in 2011, according to the Gazette, officials said the renovations would not mean the return of major junior hockey to the city. The revival of wrestling greats the likes of Killer Kowalski and Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon is also unlikely. The arenas will honour the legacies of former National Hockey League greats Denis Savard and Scotty Bowman, who grew up in Verdun.
As mentioned above, the auditorium dates back 75 years. It has a look that is of another time, and is not to be found much anymore. Clearly, it was worth preserving. we are glad the decision was made to do so.
We look forward to a visit when it is complete.