Milton Park mural honours Montreal's 'Joan of Architecture' Phyllis Lambert
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019 5:58PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 8, 2019 10:26PM EDT
A new mural was unveiled Tuesday in Milton Park to celebrate the contributions of Montreal architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert.
Her words: "Flourishing, flowering cities are managed with democratic equity where we can feel flowers and hear birds" are now writ large on a brick wall at the corner of Jeanne-Mance and Milton Sts.
The mural pays homage to the woman who fought for architecture in Montreal and advocated for social housing.
"In '75, she founded and chaired Heritage Montreal, and Heritage Montreal in turn helped the citizens of Milton Park," explained Dinu Bumbaru, who is the policy director of Heritage Montreal. "Forty years ago, she founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture, which is a great place known around the world and a great jewel to Montreal."
The mural is dedicated to Lambert – but she didn't want her face plastered across the wall, so the image echoes the neighbourhood she helped to preserve.
"I think that keeping the integrity of the building was very important for Phyllis, so I do know that the application of the mural had to be very delicate – almost like a whisper," said artist Melissa del Pinto.
Lambert was born into wealth. Her parents were Samuel and Saidye Bronfman, the family was one of the richest in Montreal.
Lambert designed the Segal Centre for the Arts, and chose the architects for the Seagram Building in New York.
Referred to by some as 'Joan of Architecture,' she also pushed Montreal to give residents more of a say on new developments in their neighbourhoods, championing low-income housing.
"I believe in community," she said. "I believe in equity, I believe in democracy. After all, it's not one or two bureaucrats who are going to make the city; it's the people who live there who understand what is needed."