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Elle a sauvé le Vieux-Montréal

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Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, 1923-2022

Architect, planner, educator, and author Blanche Lemco van Ginkel passed away peacefully in Toronto on October 20, 2022, at the age of 98.

In 1957, Lemco van Ginkel and her husband, H.P. Daniel (Sandy) van Ginkel (1920–2009), co-founded in Montreal their architecture and planning practice, van Ginkel Associates, a firm that became known for bold, modernist design and a sensitive approach to urban planning. With a steadfast focus on circulation, the firm campaigned for the conservation of historic districts, sustainable solutions, and pedestrian-friendly environments long before these concerns became popular.

The van Ginkels are credited with saving Old Montreal, which is now one of North America’s most successful heritage districts, by running an urban expressway under the neighborhood rather than following the original plan of building it at ground level and demolishing its historic buildings. The success of that project led to the founding of urban planning as a profession in Canada, when she co-authored legislation for the first Quebec Provincial Planning Commission in 1963–67. The firm’s other major projects include the design of Bowring Park in St. John’s (1958– 65), which they presented at the last CIAM conference in Otterlo, Holland, in 1959; the vision and preliminary plan in 1962 for Montreal’s Expo 67; the protection of Montreal’s Mount Royal, saving a larger area of it from development; and a study of urban circulation in Midtown Manhattan in 1970–72. The van Ginkels’ emphasis on pedestrian movement and on public transportation anticipated the environmental movement by at least a decade.


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Il y a 2 heures, Rocco a dit :

Elle était avant son temps, clairement. Je ne peux imaginer l'auto-strade est-ouest passant directement là où se trouve la rue St-Paul. Grâce à elle, on l'a finalement fait plus au nord, et en tranchée. Ça n'a pas évité les démolitions massives, mais le berceau de Montréal a été sauvé. Imaginez les retombées économiques perdues avec ce quartier maintenant touristique rayé de la carte. Montréal lui doit une fière chandelle. Il faudra nommer un coin du Vieux-Montréal en son honneur.

Appelle Valérie!!! Trop bonne idée!

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