Friday, September 16, 2011

Reflections on the Crowne

Both URBSite and West Side Action covered the renovations to the entrance to the Delta Ottawa City Centre hotel (previously the Crowne Plaza hotel and originally the Skyline), on September 5 and 7, respectively. WSA also has a post from February showing renderings of the new entrance displayed in the lobby. [Sep 2013: updated WSA links, both originals were broken]

Well, I've taken a few photos of the hotel over the years myself, and a couple days after the other two did, I went down to get my own shots of the renovations. I tried to get some angles that weren't covered in the other blogs, like this one of the hotel reflected in the glass of Constitution Square:

You can sorta make it out in that picture, but it's much clearer in this crop of a photo from August: the door on the 24th floor coming out the side of the building, which Eric refers to in one of his above-referenced WSA posts. As he mentions, it was used to access the inside of a former illuminated sign on the side of the building, in order to replace the bulbs without having to hoist a crane.

Now here's a shot of the full front of the building, taken in early August 2011, after the Delta had bought the building and renamed it Delta Ottawa City Centre, but before much work got underway on the renovations:

As for the renovations, yes, I got some photos of that too. Here's how things were on the 9th of September--a couple of days after WSA and URBSite had their takes on the reno. Note the double-decker entrance: the lower one for pedestrians, and the upper one, essentially, for motorists.

And here's a closer look at the former ramp. This ramp went northbound--i.e. accessed from Albert street--while Lyon Street right in front of it goes southbound. You can also see that even back in May 2011 there was something going on underneath it. It's plain to see how the old entrance wasn't very inviting to pedestrians: they could climb up the car-infested ramp, or they could climb into the hidden entrance under the ramp.

Back a few more months--in October 2010, shortly after the the bike lanes were painted on the newly-resurfaced Lyon Street--you can see the ramp decked out in its full Crowne Plaza livery. The boxes at the top of the railing were overflowing with flowers, and two more giant pots at sidewalk level held more plants. The flag joining the US and Canadian flags was that of Ontario, rather than that of the Delta hotel chain which replaced it.

And then three more months back, while photographing the painting going on next door at Place de Ville Phase II, I managed to catch a glancing shot of the Crowne Plaza in its old colours. I also had the good sense to tag the photo with Crowne Plaza so it popped up when I searched for photos of the hotel on my computer.

When I cropped the above photo for this blog post, I kept in the signpost for the other Delta Ottawa hotel kitty-corner to the Crowne Plaza, now the Delta Ottawa City Centre. And closing this post the way I opened it, the Crowne Plaza is reflected again in Constitution Square.

Reflect on that!

[Edit: See also the post What Were They Thinking, looking at the sidewalk around the adjusted entranceway along Lyon Street.]

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