Eric Pattison has been away for a couple of weeks, so when he emerges from the east end of River Market onto the second storey landing looking towards Front Street, he’s taken aback.
It’s not what’s been added to New Westminster’s skyline that’s caught the architect’s breath; it’s what’s been taken away.
The demolition of the west end of the old waterfront parkade is all but complete. Once the rubble of concrete and rebar is all hauled away, construction crews will begin work on building a new pedestrian-friendly mews that includes a wider sidewalk, seating areas and trees to buffer the traffic noise from the busy Front Street truck route.
But it’s what happens after that that will determine whether the controversial deconstruction of half the old parking structure to breathe new life into the city’s historic waterfront is a success.
New Westminster has a new face.