Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Jane Enkin Previews Jane Enkin Previews "City of Dreamers" Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival Thurs. May 30 7:30 pm-Portrait of Four Influential Women Architects

by Jane Enkin, May 16, 2019

City of Dreamers is an admiring, tender portrait of four influential women architects, looking back over long careers. All now seniors, the women are interviewed in their homes and on tours of some of their great projects. Fascinating photographs and entertaining archival film footage illustrate the interviews. The women's wit, determination and long perspective shine. Together, these architects show a strong concern for design at a human scale, to enhance lives.
The film has a gorgeous, energetic original jazz score and a strong sense of motion. We zip along highways, explore buildings, and amble through city parks. The camera pans still photographs in a way that suggests movement.
Blanche Lemco van Ginkel worked for pedestrian-friendly cities long before it was a popular concern. When she was the director of the School of Architecture at the University of Toronto she celebrated the return of residents from the suburbs to the centre of the city. “[It's the] heart of the city -- you know a heart is alive, and it really comes alive when people live there.”
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is a landscape architect. “It started with housing,” she says, “but then it became housing in a broader sense, building a community.” She designed playgrounds for public housing, created the children's area at Expo 67, and conceived innovative parks in downtown Vancouver. She worked with architect Arthur Erickson to design the exquisite, meditative Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia., surrounded by plants native to Haida Gwai.
Phyllis Lambert is an activist, author, curator and critic, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Architects Denise Scott Brown and Phyllis Lambert are devoted photographers. Lambert: “Once you photograph you start to notice things you never noticed before.” Brown: “We took photographs that no one else would think of taking because we had 'wayward eyes'.”
Both Brown and Lambert were instrumental in public protests to preserve the shabby, neglected area that is now the tourist-friendly area Old Montreal. There is heart-breaking footage of the demolition of a lovely old church, its tower toppling, plaster smashing down onto statues. Lambert continued to fight alongside locals to preserve other neighbourhoods in Montreal. “I didn't like the name 'heritage', but we stuck with it. For me, it wasn't about lace curtains, it was really about the face of the city.”
Brown was involved in a very different movement to fight a proposed crosstown expressway in Philadelphia. Homes and historic, distinctive shops would have been destroyed, and the expressway would have divided the city between downtown and the “undesirable”, that is African-American, part of town. Brown says she learned many lessons about urban planning during this successful struggle: “People who love their environment are very, very good judges of what's good for them and what isn't.” She was somewhat disappointed to find that residents wanted new, more structurally sound buildings. “How can you argue with them that it's beautiful?”
Brown, Lambert, Lemco van Ginkel and Hahn Oberlander continue to work with students, collaborate with others on projects, and devote their lives to beauty and community.
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • JNF Manitoba / Saskatchewan
  • JCFS
  • JCFS Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Sobey's
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Lipkin Family
  • Booke + Partners
  • Red River Coop
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • James Teitsma
  • Obby Khan
  • Jon Reyes
  • James Bezan
  • Markus Chambers
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ted Falk
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Chisick Family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Shinewald Family
  • MLT Aikins
  • MLT Aikins
  • Myers LLP
  • Charach Family
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Preventative Health First
  • Lanny Silver
  • Josef Ryan
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Commercial Pool
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Clear Care Periodontal
  • Shindico
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Lazar Family
  • Superlite
  • Chochy's
  • Nick's Inn
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Global Philanthropic
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Peerless Garments
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • Broadway Law Group
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.