Stanzl Building

Stanzl Building

It’s stood here, this iconic advanced waffle iron, all designer concrete, with the peaked top, on a vast scale, since 1974.   The Stanzl building.  Frank Stanzl.  Builder and developer, in any order.  Some guy named Vladimir Plavsic architected the thing.

Whatever happened to Frank, anyway?  He died.  And it’s too bad.  He was only 54.  It happened 36 years ago.  I always thought that was awfully harsh medicine for a guy who managed to put up this massive tribute to form and style.  In his own name.  To just go off and die like that within a few years of building your 20th Century pyramid.  Maybe it was the pressure of all that concrete, custom formed.  The man dies but the concrete goes on.

There’s not a lot of people who even know this is the Stanzl building.  You won’t see a sign anywhere on the premises, certainly not in the main foyer, that this is indeed the Stanzl building.  Stanzl?  It’s medical/dental.  It’s 805 West Broadway.  Grab a taco on your way in.  Nobody cares.  Not true.

It’s a great building.  It’s not going anywhere.  It’s unique and you can’t say that about just about any other building put up around here in the last 40 years.  I mean, you can.  You can say there’s other buildings just as unique, but is it true?  But wait.  There are no degrees of uniqueness.  Something is either unique, or it isn’t.  But let’s not get into the semantics.  Someone might get hurt.  Unique seems to mean something different than it used to.  Like, really unique.  So, is it unique, or not?  Really unique?  What exactly do you mean?

Nobody bothers too much about this stuff in construction.  Just get on with it and build.  It’s still a nice building.  I remember standing in the parkade arguing with a foreman.

“I didn’t come here to be a broom jockey,” I told him.  “I want to work!”

“You’re right,” he said.  “There’s not much left to do around here.”

We left it at that.  A bit out of focus.


Author: Steven Brown


9 thoughts on “Stanzl Building”

  1. Very interesting, the Stanzl. Didn’t quite recognize it at first, the photo almost makes it look cylindrical.. Btw, the elevator in that building really moves, to the point where you might not want to grab a taco if you need to go to the fifth floor or higher. : )


      1. I am so happy to hear the details of this building, I have visited it for many years for medical reasons. I love the way you write………………the last picture not so much. What is that about??


      2. Hello Dorothy. Beautuful name. Thanks for staying in touch. We’re very touched here, on samoyeddogs, you’re loving the way we write. That’s so cool. That last picture is about clouds. I gotta sack out now…


  2. Yep, great piece, Steve. Just read about the other Frank. Gehry. Mr. Guggenheim. Flippin’ the bird to the Spanish for suggesting his buildings are too showy. Seems to me the Stanzl is monumental, but doesn’t shout it out. I wonder what our Frank would thing about that…?


Enter A Comment Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: