I remember when the Eaton’s building was being considered for demolition, and Winnipeggers were trying to block the crews because they wanted to preserve the heritage of the city. I was younger back then, unwise to the ways of the world. However, even back then I saw how truly ridiculous the thought of saving an aging building was.
Flash forward to this week. The City of Winnipeg has approved the construction of a building that violates a variance for the area, against resident protests, and by a guy who [turns out] isn’t even a real architect. Why did the City do such a thing? Well, because the man with the plan came up with a way to keep an ugly building intact at the base—an old pumping station.
I drove down Waterfront Drive the other day, and got a good look at this pumping station. It’s an eyesore that is no longer in use. Sarah Palin comes to mind; remember, you can’t put lipstick on a pig. The logical thing to do would be to take some TNT to it. Not only is it an eyesore, but it is built based on old principals, making it un-environmentally friendly, and a headache for engineers. The artist rendering looks ridiculous. If you start from the top you’d think; modern, modern, modern … what the hell? This is the very equivalent to a 20-something wanting the legs of a 90-year old. Not even the 90-year old wants their own legs.
People of Winnipeg … it’s a building—just a building! It’s fucking brick and shitty mortar. Stop acting like if destroyed, this is of equal importance to putting down the family dog. I feel like these people that want to hold onto something as material as an unused building that serves zero purpose, are the same people that collect weird cat statues, and hoard. At least at that point, possibly you’re holding onto something because it has relevance in your life. Outside of the people that worked there, or perhaps the team that designed the building, this pumping station should mean nothing to you, and if it does, perhaps a priority check is in order? The building doesn’t have a heartbeat, is not intelligent, cannot provide for the poor, or provide answers of any kind.
We hold onto these things like our lives depend on it. Truth be told, it’s holding our city back. There’s other issues here such as why the city would break it’s own variance for something residents don’t want, in an area that is already starving for tenants, but we’ll save those for another blog.
You show me an old building, properly preserved, that is eco-friendly, and not an eyesore for the rest of the area, and I say great—no need to waste time with a demo, then a rebuild. However, show me an old pumping station that has been home to squatters, in-operational for decades, and ugly as sin compared to many of the area buildings, and I’ll be the first standing there with a jackhammer.
WRITTEN BY JAMIE HALL Writer, Entrepreneur & Fan of Superman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada