1025 Lucien-L’Allier Street
The Guaranteed Pure Milk Co. dairy is a remarkable Art Deco industrial building built in 1930-32 according to the plans of architects Hutchison, Wood & Miller, who were responsible for many outstanding buildings in the downtown area and Old Montreal. It is topped by a riveted steel water tank shaped like a giant milk bottle, almost ten metres high, built by Dominion Bridge of Lachine. The milk bottle is an almost poetic emblem of the downtown core, a naïve architectural element that contrasts with the more monumental features of the neighbourhood.
The Guaranteed Pure Milk dairy plant and its milk bottle bear witness to the bygone existence of the agrifood industry in the heart of the metropolis and the traditional means of delivering milk. The presence of this industrial activity is also a reminder of the transformation of this downtown sector, a neighbourhood once home to Victorian villas and then terrace houses following construction of Windsor Station in the late 19th century.
Closed in the 1990s and used as a location for shooting films and television series, which take advantage of its period décor, the former dairy faces an uncertain future with the further development of Cité du commerce électronique The City of Montréal has approved the expansion of the complex preserving only the dairy building’s Art Deco façade. The milk bottle may eventually be moved but, for the moment, it suffers primarily from rust, which threatens not only its physical integrity as a metal structure but also Montrealers’ perception of its value.
In the 1990s, Heritage Montreal worked with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal to ensure that the Cité du commerce électronique project would be more respectful of its urban environment and less damaging to the city’s heritage. We made officials aware of the importance of protecting the milk bottle and contributed to discussions with the centre for contemporary art at the Darling Foundry to find a permanent home for the milk bottle if it has to be moved. In the meantime, Heritage Montreal has attempted to bring together the owners and private partners to protect and repaint the milk bottle to stop it from deteriorating and disappearing from our collective memory.
To help safeguard this site, write to us.