Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going, going, Georgian heritage soon to be gone

For years I have admired the white, vinyl-sided, building at the corner of Wellington Street and Horton Street in downtown London, Ontario. Much of the building was often empty and it was clear for years that one day it would be demolished. Well, that day is at hand.

I may be one of the only people in London to mourn its loss. I am just guessing, but I think this Georgian style building may have been originally a hotel serving the railroad trade back in the 1860s. Before it was sided with plastic and divided up at street level into stores, this building had a simple elegance.

 I understand that a recent inspection of the interior showed that over the years substantial renovations have been done. Some of the original wood trim, a number of the solid wood doors, some flooring and even heritage windows remain but all has deteriorated. Its landmark status has been lost as the street scape in the immediate vicinity evolved, or devolved, over the years.

The folk who bought the property and who are going to demolish this heritage building are the very people who build the new, and oh-so-bland, Salvation Army shelter at the opposite end of the block. If I had my druthers on which building should go and which one should stay, I'd be hard pressed to make a decision.

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