City official orders demolition of historic Cambridge hotel

The Preston Springs Hotel was torn down in 2020.. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

It looks as if a Cambridge landmark will be lost in the near future.

The city’s chief building official has declared the Preston Springs Hotel a public safety risk and ordered the building be demolished.

“We recognize that this building is a community landmark, and this decision has not been made lightly,” Dennis Purcell said in a statement. “However, public safety is our first priority, and there is no other option but to issue the order to demolish.”

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The city says it has had two independent engineering firms conduct a study of the hotel, which first opened its doors in 1888. Both deemed the building to be in very poor condition, which is expected to cause structural failure, according to the city.

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“The findings of both reports demonstrate that the building is now in an advanced state of deterioration and decay,” the city stated.

The building has been boarded up for over two decades.

During that time, the city says there have been “significant issues in terms of vandalism, trespassing and keeping the building secured,” which has also led to the landmark’s deterioration.

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Purcell appeared before city council on Tuesday to recommend council issue a notice of intent to remove the hotel’s heritage status, which would allow for demolition to get underway.

The property is currently owned by Haastown Developments.

The city says it will be encouraged to submit a salvage plan to save any historical value left in the building.

The company says it was not surprised to hear of the results of the surveys but was caught off guard by the demolition order.

“While the results of the city’s engineering review of the building’s structure were not surprising, we were not expecting to receive an order for its demolition.  As such, we are currently reviewing the results of the city’s assessment of the property, the demolition order, and our obligations,” it told Global News through an emailed statement.

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“As this is ongoing, we will not be making any further comment at this time, other than to confirm that Haastown Holdings will cooperate fully with city officials and meet our obligations as the property’s owners.”

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