Monday, May 18, 2009

460 Portage Avenue - University of Winnipeg Buhler Centre

U of W Buhler Centre

University of Winnipeg Buhler Centre
Address: 460 Portage at Colony (Map)
(U of W Campus Development Page)
Cost: $15m (est)
Size: 50,000 sq ft
Status: Completed

Above circa 1949, below circa 2008
The unremarkable building with the huge sign at Portage and Memorial marked the gateway to downtown since the early 1950s. It was actually a collection of smaller buildings cobbled together as United Army Surplus Sales grew over the decades. In 2007 the retailer filed for bankruptcy and the building sat vacant.

By the end of 2007, the University of Winnipeg announced that it had secured a ten-year lease for the building but in the early stages of renovation asbestos and other infrastructure problems were found and the decision was made to demolish and build anew.

With a blank canvas to work with, the U of W partnered with business and other organizations to create a two to six storey silver LEED certified building.

Construction began in December 2009 thanks in part to a $4m donation by John and Bonnie Buhler. The four storey-building will be silver LEED certified and house the U of W Faculty of Business and Economics, the Division of Continuing Education and the Plug-In Institute for Contemporary Art.

Backgrounder: 460 Portage Avenue
More on the history of the intersection
U of W Expansion Plan Approved WFP, Jun. 24, 2009
Shovels in Ground ! U of W, Oct. 8, 2009
Buhler Centre Transforms Downtown U of W, Jan.22, 2010


December 2009:
University of Winnipeg
Feb 2010:
U of W Expansion
March 2010:
University Of Winnipeg
April 2010:
U of W Buhler Centre
University of Winnipeg
June 2010:
July 2010:
University of Winnipeg Buhler Centre
University of Winnipeg Buhler Centre

The Buhler Centre was officially opened by Governor General Michaëlle Jean s on August 26, 2010. The Plug in Gallery will open later in the Autumn.

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