Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Down, Down, Down Update 1

In the post Down, Down, Down, I covered the demolition of a few buildings.

I hear that the demolition order for the rest of the Tommy & Lefebvre building was signed this morning.

In this post, I'll cover the demolition of the "Premier" building on the Slater & O'Connor site, and in the next post (to come in a couple of days) I'll cover the other three buildings on the future 150 Slater site.

So here's the Premier building, which used to house a Fresh Food Store and La Fontana beauty parlor on the ground floor, and a handful of apartments above. It was quite solidly built, and in mint shape. Here's a shot of it from last November:

More historical information about that building:

"The Premier Apartments were built in 1938 for David Epstein, a developer specalizing in apartment buildings. His most notable project is to be found at Bank and Central Park. Architect W.E. Noffke introduced the Spanish Colonial Revival style to Ottawa in the years prior to WWI. Twenty-five years later he was still employing some vestiges of it at the Premier-using a fringe of red clay roof tiles over the third floor balconies, twisted wrought-iron railings, and glazed terra cotta panels flanking the storefonts."

Toward the back of the building was a cute little sign asking drivers not to block the door (photo taken in early March):

On April 17, it was demolished. Apparently it was quite the effort, due to the building's solid construction. Two loaders rested their buckets against the façade to keep it from falling into the street, while a third one chewed away from the back.

You can see a little cold storage at the middle of the pile of rubble below that they couldn't get at in the demolition.

Here's a shot inside the cold storage room after the demolition. You can see the rubble piled up through the doorway in the back, but the room itself held up tight.

It was eventually taken care of:

Back in March, you could still see some furniture inside that the former inhabitants didn't want to remove. Note the metal stool inside the window:

The stool was also taken care of:

Here's a shot from the back end of the Premier building.

And a shot of what used to be the same:

In the pile of rubble were some interesting easter eggs, like the pattern on the wall that is still partially intact here:

On Sunday, they were already removing the debris. See that white strip coming away from the claw? It took two or three full drags to pull it all out of the pile. It was quite long. You can see one end of it already in the back of the dump truck.

At the end, it was just an empty hole. A well-built hole, but a hole nonetheless. It took me quite a while to figure out the purpose of those blocks jutting in from the edge of the foundation. The one on the right is partially demolished. They didn't have doors, so they weren't storage. The tops were solid concrete. Did they contain secret treasure?

Finally, I realized they were merely the foundation under the part of the building that dents in! It wasn't a box, merely a jog in the wall!

And if, on an off chance, there is buried treasure behind them, I guess we'll find out soon enough!

While you're waiting for the next post, I'll point you to the blog Ottawa Urbain, who had a post with some great panoramic shots of this site.

1 comment:

  1. That "cold storage" was actually the Hydro vault.