September 14, 2012 – Lovingly coined La Grande Dame de Montréal (The Great Lady of Montréal), Place Ville Marie has presided over the city’s downtown core for 50 years, standing tall as a timeless iconic structure in Montréal’s skyline. Once the largest building – in terms of square footage – in the British Commonwealth, Place Ville Marie (PVM) represents the hope and effervescence of a city on the rise, a bustling metropolis that, in the 1960s, was establishing itself as a major world city. Fifty years later, PVM still shines with the same hope and effervescence, an enduring symbol of a bright future and a glorious past, in an international metropolis that never ceases to evolve.
Did you know…?
Henry N. Cobb, PVM’s Chief Architect, worked under the aegis of L.M. Pei, the internationally-renowned architect who created the LouvrePyramid in Paris, France.
The central tower was designed in the shape of a cross for both practical and cultural reasons: the shape allows for a maximum of occupants to benefit from abundant natural light, as well as symbolizes Montreal’s history as a centre of Catholic culture.
PVM is sheathed by aluminum produced in Québec smelters.
Natural light infuses PVM offices through 13,054 windows.
There are 52 elevators and 22 escalators in the complex.
PVM can be accessed by 92 different doors.
The height of the PVM rooftop is only 8 metres (26 feet) shorter than the summit of Mount Royal.
The PVM Christmas Tree, a Montréal holiday tradition, stands 19.2 metres high and measures 7.92 metres wide, and shines with over 13,000 LED lights.
Montréal’s innovative underground pedestrian network began at PVM. The Galeie Place Ville Marie houses close to 80 restaurants and boutiques and welcomes some 360,000 visitors per week. PVM’s pioneer use of underground retail shops inspired the World Trade Center.
The PVM revolving rooftop light has become the symbol of the city for most Montrealers. The automated roof light turns on at sunset and turns off at around one in the morning. It can be seen from a distance of 58 kilometres (36 miles). A full revolution takes approximately 32 seconds to complete.
Happy birthday, Place Ville Marie!