Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Various Views of the City

Some random views of the city.

Sunrise over the port.



A walk through the historic financial district.





The view of a school out from my 6th floor office window.



Where out of nowhere the window washer dropped down from above on this sketchy looking seat.



The Argentina relief on the Torre Monument.



The plaza in front of the Torre Monument.



Views from the top of the aforementioned monument.







Subway Art.



The Hall of Lost Steps at the Law School of The University of Buenos Aires.





The Floralisa Generica – a giant metal flower that opens and closes throughout the day.



Views from the 31st floor.





Sunrise on my last day in town for this trip. The more time I spend here the more I want to come back.





New York City – August 2019 – Circling Manhattan

With a trip for work to New York City I had little time for sightseeing, but my wife didn’t! This is her photo blog of a 4 hour New York Architectural Society (almost) circumnavigation of Manhattan. I say almost, since there was a bridge on the Harlem River in a down position so they had to backtrack back around.

They set sail from a pier in Chelsea.



And headed for the harbor…





Passing by Jersey City…



The trip was actually offered for college credit, so there was an instructor on board whom reportedly spoke ‘constantly’. The trip took them past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which I wouldn’t think would need any dialog to explain.





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It was time to head up the East River…



This carousel in a park in Brooklyn came from a defunct amusement park in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.



Nearby was a jet ski school!



As you make you way up the East River you go past many areas that are undergoing gentrification.



An interesting view of Roosevelt Island, and the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge.



The United Nations Building



Roosevelt Island was once home to a Tuberculosis Hospital, but now is home to thousands in new apartment buildings.



A great view of the bridge and the Roosevelt Island Tram.



A series of bridges on the far end of the East River, where they ended up turning around.



If you have plenty of money ($850 one way for a 30 minute plane ride) you can get from Manhattan to the Hamptons in a hurry on a seaplane.



Or a helicopter…



The cruise continued back down the East River




The late afternoon sun made a interesting view of the Staten Island Ferry with the statue in the background.



The World Trade Center from the Hudson River



One of the many New York Waterway ferries.



Finally some interesting new architecture along the Hudson.

I think you will agree her photos were great – I am so jealous I had to work, it looks like it was a great cruise 🙂





Montreal – July 2019 – Olympic Park

The city of Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. The area that most events were held still exist in the east side Olympic Park.



A number of the venues are still used for sporting events.



While it has recently been remodeled, the pool complex dates from the 1976 games. It is used for competitive events, with seating for 3,000, but is also used as the neighborhood pool when not in competitive use.




The Montreal Olympics are the poster child for cost overruns often associated with hosting the games. It is estimated it cost 720% (not a typo) more than originally planned.

Much of the cost overruns was due to the construction of Olympic Stadium.

Today there is a small museum dedicated to the games and the construction of the stadium.





The stadium looks like a 1970s sci-fi movie space ship. The large tower on the left was originally built to remove what was to be the first retractable stadium roof in history. Unfortunately it was not completed in time for the games, and when it was eventually completed it didn’t work.

So for the first 12 years or so of the stadium it was open air, and after that a permanently closed dome.



Walking around the large concrete plaza on this day with very few people gives one the feel of desolation in the middle of a large city.

Many North American stadiums used to sit in the middle of large concrete plazas like this – the newer generation of stadium more integrated into the cities are far nice, even if one can question the cost for holding so few events a year.



After the Olympics the stadium became home of the Montreal Expos baseball team. Unfortunately in 2004 they left town, moving to Washington DC. leaving the stadium largely quiet, except for a few concerts and other events like monster truck racing.



The cavernous domes stadium echos with the smallest noises. I did have the opportunity to attend a couple of baseball games here (one with the open stadium, the other with the roof in place). It was a great experience, baseball in French, with passionate fans using their own unique to Montreal style of cheering on their team.

Hopefully some day major league baseball returns to Montreal (but to a more appropriate venue).



The tower is now a tourist attraction. The inclined elevator is billed as the longest in the world.



The top of the tower offers panoramic views of Montreal.



The view of the Olympic Pool, and other venues in the park.



The Olympic Village apartments are still used. The soccer stadium is a recent addition.



The day was a bit hazy, but made the views towards downtown interesting.



Montreal’s east side is a working class neighborhood with numerous row houses.



The view of the islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River, as well as some of the bridges crossing the river.



Because much of Europe is fairly far north, the port of Montreal is the shortest route between a European port and North America.

Olympic Stadium cost the city of Montreal and all of Canada significant money, but as with most things Canadian, they have made the most of it.





Ottawa – July 2019 – Capital Views

As the Capital of Canada, Ottawa has a number of historic government buildings. With their longstanding connection to England, they tend to have a similar look to those in London.

The majority of the buildings are located on Parliament Hill.



The large Central Block (right with clock tower) has just started undergoing a 10 year restoration.




They offer tours of the House of Commons. With the Central Block under construction they enclosed this former courtyard to make it the new meeting chamber.

One interesting fact – the seats are green because the seats in London’s House of Commons is green. Why is England’s green – nobody knows.






A committee room.



Many other buildings in the city have the same look.



The Canadian Supreme Court.


Another government building on Parliament Hill.



The Canadian Mint.





The entrance to the Prime Minister’s Residence.



The Canadian History Museum across the river in Gatineau, Quebec.







The Alexandra Bridge.







The famed Rideau Canal.











The Rideau Falls.



Our day in Ottawa ended with an impressive light and sound show, detailing the patriotic history of Canada.





Toronto – July 2019 – An Emphasis on Modern Architecture

The Toronto postings end with a more focused modern architecture tour. With more than 70 new skyscrapers more than 150m (500 feet) high built since 2000 (second in North America to New York), there are plenty to choose from, although a few of the more interesting buildings downtown are not skyscrapers.

Not all of the buildings below were built after 2000, but all have the modern architecture look.
































Toronto – July 2019 – An Impressive Skyline with Architectural Variety

The city of Toronto has the 3rd best skyline in North America, according to the building website Emporis. There are more than 60 buildings at least 500′ high.


We had the opportunity to take an architectural tour with Daniel, from the Toronto Society of Architects. If there was someone you wanted to wander downtown Toronto with to learn about the history of the city, and the buildings, it is Daniel, as he has over 40 years of experience designing many of them.



Not all the buildings on this posting were seen on Daniel’s tour, but with the knowledge from him we were able to seek out more than what he had time to cover.

Included in these is (to me) the Mecca of Hockey – Maple Leaf Gardens. The Gardens were closed to NHL hockey more than 20 years ago, but the good folks of Toronto had the sense to retain the building and re-purpose it.

Most of the 1st level is a large grocery store, while Ryerson University uses the remainder of the building for athletics.



The highlight is on the current 3rd level – the ‘original ice’, as well as the exposed original ceiling!



Since the 1970s Toronto has had a near continual skyscraper building boom.



There are pockets of historic buildings scattered throughout downtown. In the distance is the clock tower of the ‘old’ city hall.

Completed in 1899 it was used as city hall until 1966 when the new city hall (feature photo for this posting) was completed.



E J Lennox was the primary architect for the old city hall in the 1890s. As was custom at the time he expected to have his name engraved on the building. When city council told him no – he got his revenge – by doing a ‘grotesque’ of himself. He is in the center with the mustache.

Even better was his revenge on his bosses in the city council – he included them as goofy looking people in grotesques, which means 120 years later he is still getting his revenge.



If you look enough you find many art deco touches, including these nice skylights in the Toronto Coach Lines building. Not bad for a bus station.



Another art deco entrance along Yonge Street.



All around you get glimpses of old and new.







The Bank of Nova Scotia building is one of the better art deco examples.





As is the Canadian Bank of Commerce.



A portion of the Hockey Hall of Fame is in the ornate lobby of an old bank.



Union Station is another example, and will shine even more when the renovations are completed in a few years.



Not downtown, and not a skyscraper the ‘Palace of Purification’ is the R C Harris Water Treatment Facility in Scarborough. It is an art deco masterpiece with a great setting along Lake Ontario.



Toronto is a city on the move, and their architecture shows it.







Buenos Aires – June 2019 – Views of the City

It was a great 10 days in Buenos Aires. I am not certain what I was expecting but whatever it was, BA exceeded it!

The Nueve de Julio Avenue is the center of the city. Created in the 1930s by wiping out an entire city block wide, and nearly 3 miles long, it is an impressive sight.



The city exists because of the huge estuary of the Rio de La Plata, creating one of the world’s great ports.



The city is full of great architecture starting with the Retiro Train Station.





The Torre Monument is in the plaza in front of Retiro. The tower was completed in 1916 by the same architect who built Big Ben.



Just down the street is the Kavanagh Building, an Art Deco masterpiece.



One of the highlights of the city is the number of ‘Palacios’ remaining from the early 1900s. While there were once more than 100, less than 40 remain, but those that still stand are magnificent.













In addition to the Palacios there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of impressive buildings.

















The city was the first city in South America to have a subway, starting over 100 years ago.





As with any city, not all are enjoying the good life. Buenos Aires has some ‘Villa’s, basically shantytowns for the very poor. The city says they have a plan to help improve the lives of the people living in the Villas, but only time will tell.



No visit to Buenos Aires is complete without a stop at the Obelisk.



For now it is time to fly, but not before joining the crowd to watch a soccer game while waiting on the plane. True Buenos Aires!