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ville-marie 1414, rue Drummond (conversion to residences)


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1414, rue Drummond


Heard that the medical professionals in the Drummond Medical Building have been asked to leave.
It is next to the Mount Stephen and across from the YMCA.
Word is that the building will be converted into residences.

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  • 5 months later...

Drummond Medical Building's shift to high-end residential units marks end of an era


In a few months, the last health clinics at the historic building will make way for rental apartments

Brian Lapuz · CBC News · Posted: Jan 12, 2019 6:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
The Drummond Medical Building was viewed as innovative when it was built in 1929. This photo dates to 1931 or 1932. The revolving door is no longer there. (Submitted McCord Museum)

Not every visit to the doctor's office starts with a greeting from a doorman.

The Drummond Medical Building is different. For nearly a century, the stately art deco highrise served as a medical hub to Montrealers.

But in a few months, the final clinics remaining are expected to shut their doors for good.

The owner plans to convert them into high-end residential rental units.

"It's sad to see it end this way," said Shawn Cohen, an ophthalmologist who has had an office in the building for 18 years.

"I would have been here forever. I don't think I have any motivation to leave."

He has yet to finalize where he will move next.

Ophthalmologist Shawn Cohen has had an office in the building for nearly two decades. (Denis Cleary/CBC)

'Distinctive in its day'

The 11-floor building was viewed as innovative when it was erected in the Golden Square Mile in 1929.

It was designed as a one-stop shop offering patients everything from dental to eye care, at a time when doctors were shifting from home visits to clinical care.

"It was actually quite distinctive in its day," McGill University architectural historian Annmarie Adams said.

"It was built to bring doctors together. It was a specialized commercial building for doctors' offices and it really represented a brand new building type."

This cutaway drawing appeared in the fashion and lifestyle magazine, The Montrealer and Passing Show, in May 1935. Part of the original text read: 'The above cut-away sketch illustrates Montreal’s only exclusively medical and dental building. Patients can be seen leaving their cars and stepping into the elevators—effortlessly reaching their doctors’ offices.' (Submitted David Theodore)

Even the parking garage is a testament to its mandate, she said.

The ornate facade masks an above-ground, multi-floor car park available for the hundreds of patients who visited daily.

Adams herself visits the building regularly. Her dentist is still there.

"We've been in the parking garage. It's a pretty wild experience," Adams said.

A symbol of the Anglo elite

Adams is the co-author of 'Tower of Power: The Drummond Medical Building and the Interwar Centralization of Medical Practice,' an academic article examining the relationship between the building's design and the history of health services in Montreal.

David Theodore, the lead author, said the jewellers Henry Birks & Sons wanted to build a parking garage, but the city wouldn't allow it.

So they commissioned Percy Erskine Nobbs, a famed Montreal architect, to draw up the plans for a health-care centre.

"It's very much tied to Montreal's traditional Scottish Protestant elite," Theodore said.

Theodore said he's concerned the building will lose some of its history after it becomes residential rental units.

At one time, the building housed up to 80 health clinics. This photo is believed to have been taken between 1931 or 1932. (Submitted McCord Museum)

Development targets high-end renters

A spokesperson for Monit Investments Inc., the owner of the building, said the owner intends on "maintaining the exterior" and "beauty of the building" for the future rental apartments.

"We're still in the planning stage," Jonathan Goldbloom said.

"It's obviously a prime location in the downtown core of the city, so one would assume that it'll reflect those who have the economic means to move here."

Goldbloom said many of the doctors "were in the twilight of their careers" and the decision to change the building is based on their forecast of a declining demand for clinics downtown.

Allan Israel, an 80-year-old dentist, is one of the last tenants. He graduated from McGill University in 1965 and opened his office on Drummond a year later.

He is relocating to Peel Street, where he will share a space with a younger dentist.

"It's a bit of an inconvenience having to move at this stage in the game," Israel said.

"The only other choice was to retire, which I don't want to do."

Allan Israel has been practicing dentistry in the Drummond Medical Building since 1966. (Dennis Cleary / CBC)

He's been treating one of his childhood friends, Michael Caplin, for decades.

Caplin used to go to the YMCA across the street. While working out, he would look through the window to see if Israel was working.

"This building has character, even if this character is kind of dated. It's got character," Caplin said.

For his part, he says he's fine with the owner's plan.

"Well, nothing is forever. It's as simple as that."




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  • 5 months later...
il y a 12 minutes, Rusty a dit :

I like this building .... but residences ?  windows are small and no balconies ....  wonder how they will do it 



Heard  not necessarily from a reliable source. Maybe was a supposition...

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Le 2018-07-19 à 09:18, Rusty a dit :

I like this building .... but residences ?  windows are small and no balconies ....  wonder how they will do it 



Il y a plein d'immeubles anciens qui ont des fenêtres moins grandes et sans balcon qui sont malgré tout très agréables à vivre. On met alors l'accent sur l'aménagement intérieur et la finition pour compenser. En fait chaque formule a ses avantages et trouve sa clientèle cible.

Le centre-ville continue sur sa lancée résidentielle, en augmentant l'offre en plein coeur de l'action. Autant de nouveaux clients pour la vitalité de la future rue Ste-Catherine réaménagée. Un tournant majeur pour la métropole avec son quartier des affaires de plus en plus habité, où la vie urbaine bourdonnera en tout temps en dehors des heures de bureaux.

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Les vocations changent mais heureusement les immeubles restent parfois. Comme de valeureux témoins d'une époque révolue qui occupent un espace de choix en plein coeur de la ville. C'est la petite histoire d'une communauté qui fait partie de la plus grande histoire de la ville, qui tourne la page. Il ne restera pas grand chose de l'intérieur une fois les espaces réaménagés, mais l'extérieur continuera à charmer les passants par son décor joliment suranné.

C'est la preuve que l'on peut sauver ces magnifiques édifices d'un autre temps, si on se donne la peine de leur offrir une seconde vie. Montréal a déjà trop perdu de ces monuments du passé, cavalièrement détruits pour faire place à du moderne souvent générique. Je pense notamment au Children's dont certaines parties méritaient un bien meilleur sort.

J'ose alors espérer qu'on développera un plus grand respect pour notre histoire et notre patrimoine, en tentant au maximum de donner de nouvelles fonctions à nos monuments architecturaux, afin qu'ils puissent continuer à distinguer avantageusement Montréal des autres métropoles du continent. On a ici la preuve qu'il est rentable de récupérer l'ancien sans y perdre au change, tout en satisfaisant pleinement une clientèle exigeante, qui a les moyens de se faire plaisir sans pour autant faire de concession à la modernité.

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