History records that the skyline speaks volumes about the community which builds them, too; be they heavy, be they cultured, be they symbolic of power.
Architecture is an archeological dig in reverse. It’s a structural timeline of a city that – decades into the future – tells a story about the past. The sky cranes, if any, tell a story about the present and future.
The Free Press has spent the last four months interviewing architects, historians, authors and researchers to tell the story of Winnipeg through its buildings - some still standing, some not – over the last century; from the wild expectations of the early 1900s, through the search for identity of the 1960s, to today, which many believe is a renaissance.
The three-part series, though, is not just a story of words, of course, so the project – including video interviews and hundreds of archival photos - has incorporated the latest in digital and visual technology, including a surprising view of the Golden Boy.
It all begins with a young immigrant boy sitting on the steps of the Canadian Pacific Railway station on a spring day in 1911. The last chapter takes us to the upcoming unveiling of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a structure on an iconic scale not seen since the construction of the Manitoba Legislature almost 100 years ago.
The next chapter? It has yet to be written.
City Beautiful launches online September 5, 2014 and runs on three consecutive Saturdays in print and at winnipegfreepress.com/citybeautiful
Part 1: Great Expectations - September 5, 2014
Part 2: Coming of Age - September 13, 2014
Part 3: The Renaissance - September 20, 2014