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Unfortunately, history treated this building as savagely as it did the city where it was ultimately built. Massive cost overruns, delays and corruption meant the tower and roof were nowhere to be seen when the games opened in July. By that November, the separatist-driven Parti Quebecois came to power and ushered in a new era of economic darkness and social upheaval. As Montreal's star faded amid a massive outflow of talent to Toronto to the west, The Big O, as it was known, became a symbol of misplaced optimism, out-of-touch design and lost opportunity.
Fast forward to today and the Montreal Expos major league baseball team is long gone, the CFL's Alouettes football team has relocated to Molson Stadium, and the mostly empty Big O, long deemed one of the worst sports venues on the planet, now sits quietly as it awaits an uncertain fate.
But if you look at it just so, in isolation of the forces that created - and ultimately rejected - it, the structure remains a compelling piece of architecture. I remain hopeful for a brighter future for it, because history often takes more than a mere few decades to give truly revolutionary buildings their due.
Your turn: Why do we love/hate buildings like this as much as we do?
- Farewell to the Boys of Summer (Written Inc.)