Tuesday, June 5, 2007

100th Ez Sez Post... Help Save the Bens Building

Today marks the 100th Ez Sez post, the topic of which is the possible demolition of the historic Bens Restaurant building in downtown Montreal.

(Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, left, with unidentified guitarist and Ezra. In front of Bens Restaurant c. 1990)

Bens Restaurant closed its doors on December, 15th, 2006 after a strike by workers and the Kravitz family's decision to close the famous downtown smoked meatery. They had owned Bens for close to 100 years.

Now, filmmaker and friend Vanya Rose has taken up the cause - along with Art Deco Montreal, the Pop Montreal festival and other artists and concerned Montrealers - to urge the City of Montreal to designate Bens' Streamlined Modern building a Heritage Building before it's too late...

...For on June 19th, the building is to be officially signed over to new owners who could demolish it to put up a new building.

(Photo by Colin P. Rose, used with permission)

Are you a fan of Bens? Of endangered Montreal landmarks? Of Jewish urban heritage? Did you once have a great smoker there?

If so, consider attending the demonstration that will take place outside Bens on Thursday, June 14th, at noon. (990 De Maisonneuve W., corner of Metcalfe. Metro Peel)

Musicians Socalled and David Sanders will be playing there and filmmaker Tim Rideout who recently launched a short film about Bens will be showing it at the demonstration too. Other artists, speakers and former Bens employees are expected to be present as well.

(Photo by Colin P. Rose, used with permission)

Read the full "Save The Bens Restaurant Building" press release for more details on the event and the Bens restaurant building by Montreal architect Charles Davis Goodman (1894-1962). It is worth noting that the building is currently featured in a Montreal Museum of Fine Arts exhibit on Streamlined Modern design.

Off to eat a veggie burger in bewilderment of such ironies, I remain,


Further reading:
More articles on Bens here.
More photos of Bens by Colin P. Rose here.
Bens Wikipedia entry
Stay tuned for coverage of this event at your local media outlet, eager to fress deli-style on the latest news.

(Cartoon by Socalled, 2007)

Here are photos from the event, taken by Colin P. Rose.
Read about the Bens Building demonstration covered in the Montreal Gazette, June 15th, 2007.
Bens demo previewed in the Montreal Mirror. Click here.

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