Montreal's iconic Guaranteed Pure Milk bottle, currently covered in rust and graffiti, is about to get a makeover, thanks to Heritage Montreal and several soon-to-be-announced sponsors.
Scaffolding is going up around the bottle and work is expected to start by the end of the month on cleaning and repainting the structure, Robert Turgeon, chairman of the board at Heritage Montreal, told Metropolitan News. Turgeon said Heritage Montreal expects to announce the cost of the project and the names of sponsors in late September. The work should be completed by the end of October, he said.
From Heritage Montreal's file on the bottle (before it found sponsors to pay for its restoration):
The Guaranteed Pure Milk dairy plant, a remarkable Art Deco building which attests to the presence of the milk industry in the heart of Montreal, was built in 1930. It supports a water tank shaped as a giant riveted steel quart of milk 10 metres tall built by Dominion Bridge of Lachine. The milk bottle is almost a poetic emblem of the downtown area, a naïve architectural element which contrasts with the more monumental features of the neighbourhood.
The Guaranteed Pure Milk dairy plant and its milk bottle bear witness to the past presence of the agro-processing industry right in the heart of the metropolis as well as a reminder of the traditional means of delivering milk.
Shut down in the 1990s and used as a site for shooting TV series, the building faces an even more uncertain future with the arrival of the E-Commerce Place. Promoters would preserve only the façade of the building. What will happen to the milk bottle? Moreover, the bottle is suffering from lack of maintenance; the metal is rusting, and its appearance has been affected.
Héritage Montréal intervened as part of a coalition to request that the E-Commerce Place project pay greater attention to its urban environment, and in a manner less devastating to the site’s heritage. Industrial heritage continues to be a subject of concern by the organisation, which wishes to embark on a specific protection project for the milk bottle.
- Andy Riga