The demise of Art Central

Art_Central_demolition_beginning_2014_November_18_afternoon (1024x768)

What has become a far too common recent situation in the city started again earlier this week – the long-anticipated demolition of Art Central.

It all began this past Monday – November 17.

This demolition is being done to build a new much-larger multi-use complex on its footprint – the 58-storey Telus Sky building.

I noticed that the windows on the second floor, south side had been removed when I rode by on the C-Train early Tuesday morning. By the time I returned around 4:00 later that afternoon to take the photo I have posted above this is what I saw. There also was a small backhoe visible from street-level when I stood outside the Palomino, which was located inside the space that once housed The New Gallery, and prior to that QUAB Gallery.

On a personal level, I also occupied that same space for about three or four months during the time between the occupancy of the two galleries mentioned above. This was a time when I was in transition and also had a very large non-objective exhibition in 2007/2008 that was spread over three spaces on the +15 level – my old space (unit 207), my new space (unit 203) and this larger space (unit 213).

It is sad to see this building come down.

The building held so much promise, dreams and expectations.

For various reasons, the project mostly failed to deliver on much of that hope and expectation which was built into the initial concept.

There were the external factors, some of which were quite large and played a very important role in its ultimate demise. There were challenges and factors that occurred before the building even opened. And of course, there were the internal factors and the nature of the concept, combined with its location.

I would love to talk further about the dreams, expectations, hopes and disappointments of those involved in this space, either as tenants, owners and visitors. They all helped shape the initial concept into what it ultimately became. It would be an interesting story.

Someday I will.

Today however, I will quietly mourn its demise and wait for the appropriate time and place to talk further.

 

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