Eaton's Ninth Floor Restaurant

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Ninth Floor Restaurant's dining hall and mural

The Eaton's Ninth Floor Restaurant (known as "The Ninth Floor" or "Le 9e") is an endangered Art deco landmark in Montreal, Canada. It ceased operation after 68 years, and not been open to the public since 1999.

History[edit]

Lady Eaton, the wife of the multi-millionaire owner of the Eaton's department stores, gave her interpretation of "class and style" to the major Eaton's stores. In 1925 Eaton's purchased the three story Goodwin building[1] located at 677 Saint Catherine Street West and commissioned architects Ross & MacDonald to build it up to six stories in 1927. The top three floor were added in 1930-31.[2] On January 26, 1931 Lady Eaton opened a large art deco restaurant on the 9th floor of the building. The restaurant was designed by architect Jacques Carlu and[3] the floor to ceiling mural at the back of the restaurant was created by his wife Natacha Carlu.[4] It was patterned on dining hall of the transatlantic liner Ile de France. The 9th floor corridor between the elevators and restaurant is also in the art deco style.

This restaurant is a registered historical site. The waitresses and loyal customers of the restaurant were the subject of a 1998 National Film Board of Canada documentary Les Dames du 9e (The Ladies of the 9th).

Closure[edit]

Shortly following Eaton's bankruptcy, the restaurant closed on October 14, 1999. A bagpiper played Amazing Grace to mark its end.[5] After remaining vacant, the 9th floor restaurant was given heritage status by the Québec government. Plans for bringing the restaurant up to modern safety standards were drawn up by Fournier, Gersovitz, Moss et associés but never implemented.

Current state and uncertain future[edit]

The restaurant is slowly deteriorating. The dining room, lobby and bathroom area remain, but the kitchen was demolished for office space. The current owners, Ivanhoe Cambridge, have refused to allow media or preservation groups to inspect the site. Urban explorers photographed the site in 2004, documenting its poor condition. On February 12, 2014 Heritage Montreal announced the restaurant was "under observation" due to the building's uncertain future.[6] Adding to the uncertainty, the current occupants of the site, Les Ailes de la Mode, will be closing by the end of 2014. Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, won’t comment on future tenants or any plans for the site.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Anderson, Carol and Mallinson, Katharine. Lunch with Lady Eaton: Inside the Dining Rooms of a Nation, Toronto: ECW Press, 2004.
  • Cohen-Rose, Sandra. Northern Deco: Art Deco Architecture in Montreal. Montreal: Corona Publishers,1996 Sandra Cohen-Rose. ISBN 0-919631-06-1
  • Martin, Catherine. The Ladies of the 9th Floor. 60 minute film. Winner of the 1998 Telefilm Canada prize for short and medium length films.
  1. ^ http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/cat2411e.shtml#030
  2. ^ Ross & Macdonald Architects, “General Specifications for Extensions to Store for The T. Eaton Co. Limited of Montréal,” 19 Feb. 1930, Ross & Macdonald Fonds (Canadian Centre for Architecture – Archives) 5-10.
  3. ^ Chung, Andrew (May 17, 2009). "Deprived of an art deco wonder". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ "A postcard with a photograph of the Eatons' Restaurant on the 9th floor, ca.1931". Art Deco and the decorative arts in the 1920s and 1930 digital exhibition. McGill University Library. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/renowned-art-deco-restaurant-in-montreal-gets-reprieve/article16820292/
  6. ^ Peritz, Ingrid. "Future uncertain for famed Montreal Art Deco restaurant". Globe and Mail. Globe and Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

External links[edit]