Another beautiful day here in Montréal, so this morning I headed over to île Sainte-Hélène. I took far too many shots to include in a single post and so I’ll be spreading them over the next couple of days. For today’s post, I’m going to concentrate on shots of the Biosphère.
For those not familiar with the background and history of the Biosphere, here is a quick summary:
The Biosphère was the United States pavilion for the 1967 World Fair Expo 67 and was designed by Richard Buckminster Fuller. Originally the dome (which measures 76m in diameter and 62m high) was covered with a transparent acrylic, but on May 20 1976 during renovation work, a fire destroyed the covering. Fortunately the steel dome structure remained.
In August, 1990, Environment Canada purchased the site for $17.5 million, to turn it into an interactive museum showcasing and exploring the water ecosystems of the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River regions. Following construction of the buildings (designed by Éric Gauthier) to house the museum inside the dome, the museum opened to the public in 1995.
In 2007 it became the Environment Museum, providing interactive activities and exhibitions about the major environmental issues related to water, climate change, air, ecotechnologies, and sustainable development.
The Federal Government recently announced that due to budget cuts they would be laying off staff and its future as Canada’s only environment museum is now in doubt. It has been suggested that it will become office space for the meteorological service department.
I hope whatever happens, the public will still have access to the high platforms inside the dome as they provide great views.
On the following shots (taken from the bridge leading to île Notre-Dame) you can also see the Lévis Tower. Although it looks like it could have been built by the early settlers, it was in fact built in the 1930’s. I have never been inside, but it is possible to rent it for private functions.
I’ll have more shots to share tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.