View Single Post
Old Posted Apr 24, 2008, 2:40 AM
feepa's Avatar
feepa feepa is offline
Change is good
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,757
Originally Posted by sdimedru View Post
Oh, and where's the pic of the proposed multi-use facility where the stadium is now? That could be added to the list
edit: meaning i'm looking for it but cant find it! ews%20Nov%202005.pdf
New art gallery sparks memories of OMNIPLEX
The recent competition to rebuild the Edmonton Art Gallery spurred a couple Edmonton
Journal letter writers to compare the grandiosity of the plan with that of the Omniplex.
Younger readers of the Journal, and even a few older ones, probably didn’t have a clue what
the writers were referring to. But had the Omniplex actually been built, the Boyle McCauley
area – Edmonton for that matter - would have a totally different look.
The Omniplex was a gargantuan building proposed in the late 60s to “revitalize” the downtown
core. It combined features of the Commonwealth Stadium, the Edmonton Coliseum,
the Shaw Convention Centre, and the Winspear Concert Hall – all under one roof. It’s likely
none of those major structures would have been built had the Omniplex been approved. It
was to be located roughly where the Law Courts building and the main Post Office are now.
Perhaps the most spectacular feature of the Omniplex was a floating or raisable football field
that could be elevated to uncover the hockey facility below. The ceiling of the hockey rink
would be the elevated floor of the football stadium.
As its name implies, the Omniplex would have it all: 100,000 square feet of convention space
with seating for up to 25,000 delegates; a 3400 seat cultural theatre; movie theatres; an LRT
station; a 32,000 seat football stadium, a 12,000 seat ice arena and much more.
It was such a major proposal that it went to Edmonton voters twice. Once in 1968 when they
were asked if the City should seriously consider looking at it, which voters agreed to, and
again in 1970 when they were asked in a plebiscite if Council should borrow the $26 million
to build it, which – momentously - they did not agree to. The rest is history.
For the record, I can remember sitting at the kitchen table when my dad came home after
voting. He had voted no. “Not enough parking,” he said.
Reply With Quote