expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

29 July 2007

Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie was the vision of world renowned modernist architect I.M. Pei. (Among his works, Pei is credited with having designed the Louvre's magnificent glass pyramid.) Arguably the most distinctive building in Montreal, the tower's smooth aluminum and glass surface and crisp geometric form set new standards for architecture in Canada in the 1960s.

Place Ville Marie's most distinctive feature was its cruciform (cross-shaped) 45-storey tower. Shops, restaurants and cinemas were located below a vast plaza, playing a key role in what became Montreal's unique below-ground pedestrian walkway system.

The rivalling CIBC Building was completed in 1962, only a few months before Place Ville Marie. Touted as the "tallest building in the Commonwealth", Place Ville Marie surpassed it later that year, when a last minute penthouse was deliberately added to the building...


The photos from this post (excluding the last one) were taken by an amateur photographer upon PVM's opening in 1962. Over 40 years later, Bob (a retired banker and retired antiques dealer now living in Stayner, Ontario) uploaded the fab photos to flickr.com.

In his description of the set, he states:

"In 1962 when the building was opened, my father was employed with the Royal Bank of Canada. To celebrate the opening of its new Head Office, the bank invited staff and their families to an open house and a tour of the new facilities. I would have been about 16 at the time and was just getting started with a 35mm camera, when I, my parents and my two brothers attended the open house. I documented the visit photographically, getting 21 shots out of roll of 20, all of which appear in this set."

Click here to see the entire flickr set.

PVM's plaza, as viewed from Dorchester Boulevard (today Rene Levesque).

The south plaza and the reflecting pool.

Place Ville Marie's south entrance.

The ground floor (plaza level) reception area.

A large Safety Deposit Vault was located on the mezzanine level.

A corner office, typical of what would be accorded a General Manager in 1962.

Reception area for the office of the bank president.

This presidential office suite was located on the 4th floor.

Generous square wells provided daylight as well as access to PVM's shops.

A view of some of the boutiques in the underground shopping center.

Michèle Richard poses on the steps of PVM's plaza, in the late 1960's.

images: all flickr.com, except Michèle Richard: Echos Vedettes

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

really interesting (old) pics!
nearly timeless...

7:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the surprise picture of Michele Richard at the end!!!!


5:38 am  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...


I'm always looking for ways to included Michèle Richard ;-)

8:00 am  

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