Engineering and Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex
In the 1990s under the leadership of Sir George Williams graduate Jonathan Wener, Chairperson of Concordia’s Board of Governors Real Estate Committee, the University began an in-depth assessment that led to a bold and forward-looking master building plan. The strategic plan positions Concordia to meet changing space needs and manage growth over the coming decades through judicious property acquisition and management, creative building projects and innovative financing.
iThe York Theatre opened on Ste-Catherine Street in November 1938, a virtual replica of a 1936 Famous Players theatre in Oak Park, Illinois, in the Streamline Deco style of the British Odeon chain theatres, the celebrated Nickel Odeons. The York’s interior decoration was done with the collaboration of Emmanuel Briffa, and it included decorative painted panels by Montrealer Kenneth Hensley Holmden (1893-1963). Renovations in 1950 modified the marquee, changed the lighting, and reduced seating. The York closed in 1989. The entire north side of Ste-Catherine between Guy and Mackay was slated for high-rise development that never materialized. In 1989 a fire destroyed the building to the west of the theatre. The York and the companion Lancaster Apartment Building were abandoned and unheated for nearly ten years before Concordia purchased the whole property on the north side of Ste-Catherine between Guy and Mackay in June 1998. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the City of Montreal declined to classify the building. By 2000 it was clear it was not feasible to integrate the York into the Concordia complex planned for the surrounding site, and it was demolished in August 2001. Three surviving York panels and other architectural features have been restored and integrated into the new building.