Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Down, Down, Down Update 2

This post is the third in a series on the Slater/O'Connor site, following Down, Down, Down, where I discussed, among other things, the O'Connor Smoke Shop demolition, and Down, Down, Down Update 1, where I reviewed the demolition of the Premier building at the 150 Slater site.

In today's post, I'd like to talk more about the 150 Slater site in general, including the other three buildings that were demolished, and what they plan to build there. Thanks to Martin from Laurier Computer, I'll have another post looking specifically at the former Laurier Computer building (which has a surprisingly rich history!), as part of the Centretown Heritage Project.

So to review, here's the site as it was when it was still active (taken from my Picasa Web Album for 150 Slater). There's the Cafe Deluxe and O'Connor Smoke Shop building at the corner, the Premier building at the far end, and the Computer Supply house and injet refill store in between:

Here's the hole where the corner building used to be, taken from behind. You can see the Telus building in the background: (A sign on the parking lot next to it indicates that the Telus building is getting a new LEED Gold neighbour, 199 Slater (PDF), by Broccolini construction)

Here are the other three buildings awaiting demolition. A fence has been erected in the road for a buffer zone for the demolition vehicles. The sign on the computer supplyhouse has been removed:

And here's the hole where the middle two buildings had been. It's interesting to see how differently they were built: the far one had a foundation of poured concrete with some heavy duty steel rebar; the near one was just a brick foundation.

Also note the wooden forms for the Computer Supplyhouse foundation are still there, suggesting it may have been built second, and the gap was too narrow to remove them. Whether it was built to last doesn't matter much now, I guess.

It's surprising just how big these foundations are. The stores look so small from the outside, yet when you stand in front of their vacant foundations, it's like standing next to an Olympic-size swimming pool (as always, click to see full size):

While most of the rubble had been cleared from the hull of the toner shop, a bunch of it had collected in the outside stairwell. We can also see the inside basement wall, with some notice boards and other things. The Premier building is still standing in the background in this shot:

When the wall to that stairwell was taken out, it left an opening under the stairs (which have a surprisingly flimsy construction; I'd expect outdoor stairs like that to be concrete all the way through, not to be supported by a wooden frame). A pigeon was using the gap as a makeshift roost. I could only get a photo of it as it was flying away:

Eventually, all five buildings on the site were demolished, the last one being the Premier building (which in the photo below is the pile of rubble on the far right). Here we can see through from the corner building, across the former computer buildings, all the way to the former Laurier Computer building. A troupe of yellow diggers lie in rest, awaiting their next meal of rubble; three neighbouring buildings form a concrete wallpaper backdrop:

Lastly, the rubble of the Laurier Computer building, which I'll discuss in more detail in my next post. Here you can see the Mondrian building under construction in the background on the left, the Premier building still standing on the right, and a pile of rubble in the middle. It's interesting to see the graffiti tags floating at the second storey-level on the next building over. They're very respectably spaced from each other:

One of the girders from the Laurier Computer building had been unceremoniously bent down into the pit of the now empty foundation hole. The twisting and the rust turned it into a curious peice of incidental art:

Lastly, here's a rendering of the building that will go up on this site, the new headquarters of Export Development Canada. You can see some incidental shots of the old building in the previous photo and others. I happened to discover links to the plans on the SkyscraperPage forums.

Stay tuned for more!

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