There’s been a lot of talk lately about Winnipeg’s slowly diminishing stock of historic buildings. I’ve ranted a bit myself about the loss of The Starland and Epic Theatres on Main Street, the continued neglect of the Royal Albert and St. Charles Hotels, and the questionable redevelopment of the Ryan Block and Prosperity Knitwear.
But nobody’s talking about the disappearing act that’s happening right before our eyes on Portage Avenue these days. Up until a few months ago, the stretch of Portage between Century and Moray was a living museum of Googie architecture, an eccentric offshoot of mid-century modern architecture. While the gorgeous signage still exists at Silver Heights Restaurant, the signs at both Silver Heights Shopping Centre and Silver Heights Apartments have vanished, no doubt in attempt to improve the area.
Between these losses and the inevitable demolition of the Airport and the Public Safety Building, it’s clear that this city has no interest in preserving any part of its heritage post-1930.