WATCH ABOVE: The sign from the Cecil Hotel is set to be removed on Friday morning. Jenna Freeman reports.
CALGARY – The historic Cecil Hotel in downtown Calgary will be demolished instead of being redeveloped.
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that while they were aware some Calgarians hoped the landmark could be saved, salvaging it just isn’t possible.
“Following decades of neglect plus the ravages of fire and flood, rehabilitation and restoration simply aren’t feasible options,” said CMLC President & CEO Michael Brown in a news release.
“We will apply for a demolition permit this fall after an abatement program has been completed on the building and all hazardous materials have been properly removed.”
Local historian Harry Sanders said the hotel “filled a need” in the city when it first opened.
“It was a working man’s hotel, and always was,” he said. “It didn’t always have the reputation that it came to be known for in the later years.”
Situated on the corner of 4 Avenue S.E. and 3 Street S.E., the Cecil Hotel is one of only six pre-First World War hotels still standing in Calgary. It was built in 1912.
The CMLC is making efforts to keep elements from the building of historical value, such as the hotel’s large neon sign.
“The hotel is a landmark, but so too is the sign, and perhaps more so,” said Sanders. “As a drive-by landmark, the sign is the visible part.”
The Cecil Hotel sign was removed on Friday morning.
“It will be restored to its original colours and condition and then placed into storage until such time as a community use can be identified,” said Brown. A CMLC spokesperson on site said the sign would be used in the East Village redevelopment.
With files from Carlos Prieto