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Face-to-face with a happy construction site in the 600 block of West Broadway

October 15, 2017

The east face of 686 West Broadway Ave. seen October 15th.

Pedestrians in the 600 block of West Broadway Avenue may have noticed the white shrink wrap construction rain-screening that is covering most of the east face of the otherwise glass and aluminum-clad eight storey office building at 686 West Broadway Avenue.

It’s been poked full of…wait a minute!

Various holes have been cut into the drum-tight plastic to allow ventilation. Most of these holes are simple two-stroke X-cuts. However, those with especially keen eyesight will notice that at least two of the holes have been carefully fashioned to look like happy faces.

Funny seeing that there.

The largest and most obvious face is cut into the east face side of the plastic at the level of the sixth storey. The cuts are cleverly and cleanly done and convey an instantly recognizable mirthful expression.

My new Twitter avatar?

A second face can be seen in the plastic that wraps around onto the north side of the building, at about the level of the fourth storey. This face has big, open-cut eyes and both its nose and smile appear to have been poked into the plastic with a blunt object–perhaps a finger in a construction glove.

Detail showing a smiley face in the building wrap on the north side of 686.

Presumably these happy faces are the work of a construction worker with a sense of humour and a deft hand. I’d also like to imagine that they were also created with the intention of at least putting a smile on the face of anyone who happens to notice them.

They actually made me laugh out loud, so “Good Job” to whoever is responsible for them!

* * *

After such a nice, fluffy little post, I almost hate to mention the sad recent history of this building and I recommend that you stop reading if you are at all concerned about experiencing an instant buzz-kill.

Some people may remember 686 West Broadway from May of 2012, when an arson attempt gone wrong saw a gasoline-fed explosion rip through a ground floor retail unit occupied by the Taco Del Mar restaurant. The blast caused millions of dollars of damage to the building—not to mention serious burns to 40 percent of the body of the convicted arsonist.

It also led to the suicide of one of the two owners of the restaurant both of whom, it developed, were personal friends of the arsonist. (A judge cleared the other owner of any involvement in the arson.) Like I said, very sad. Click the images to enlarge them.

From → Development, Fairview

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