Gendering the Ninth Floor

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  • Title: Gendering the Ninth Floor: Lady Eaton and the Eaton’s Ninth Floor Restaurant, Montréal
  • Author(s): Maya Soren
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Constructed Environment
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Constructed Environment
  • Keywords: Public Heritage, Public Memory, Architectural History, Cultural Heritage, Gendered Space, Unspace, Feminism, 1930s, Montréal, Eaton’s Ninth Floor Restaurant, Lady Flora McCrea Eaton, Jacques Carlu, Eaton’s, Department Store, Pierre Patout, Île-de-France,
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2012
  • ISSN: 2154-8587 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8595 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8587/CGP/v02i02/37530
  • Citation: Soren, Maya. 2012. "Gendering the Ninth Floor: Lady Eaton and the Eaton’s Ninth Floor Restaurant, Montréal." The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 2 (2): 179-206. doi:10.18848/2154-8587/CGP/v02i02/37530.
  • Extent: 28 pages

Abstract

In 2000 Le 9e was officially declared a Quebec heritage site by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine after operating at the corner of University and Ste-Catherine streets in Montréal for nearly seventy years. The present owner, property management company Ivanhoe Cambridge, denies all access to the public as well as to professionals working in the heritage industry. At present the restaurant is privately owned but has a cultural distinction that situates it as part of public heritage. My research grapples with this paradox, investigating the site’s heritage value within a broader historical context and offering new perspectives on its interpretation. Representing an emerging culture of luxury amongst the middle class in 1930s Montréal, as well as anglophone wealth and power in an increasingly francophone city, Le 9e is one of the last surviving Art Deco interior spaces in Montréal. I am especially interested in the site’s social and cultural value as a gendered space, as it was one of relatively few public places where it was socially acceptable for middle and upper class women to convene without a male companion in the 1930s. Lady Eaton’s crucial role in the conception and management of the restaurant, as well as her status as a nationally important public figure will also be examined in terms of the “gendering” of the space.