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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Demolition has begun at Portage and Donald !

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Demolition has begun on three familiar buildings at Portage and Donald to make way for the new Longboat Development / ALT Hotel project.

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The oldest is the Clarendon Hotel. The present building was constructed in 1920, though hotels on the site go back as far as 1883. In fact, the ALT Hotel will be the fourth different hotel at this intersection !

According to a 1920s Free Press article, the western wall of the hotel, abutting the Mitchell Copp / Bank of Commerce building, is the original 1883 wall. I'll be keeping an eye out for any interesting painted signs or advertising !

For a history of the Clarendon Hotel.

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The youngest is the circa 1951 Donalda Building , long time home to The Orchid Florists and most recently Urban Planet.

For a history of the Donalda Building.

Former Mitchell Copp Building

Also, there is the Kennedy / Mitchell Copp Building. It dates back to 1906, though it had a major rebuild in 1919. The facade of this building is supposed to be incorporated into the new development.

For a history of this building.

Norlyn Building

A fourth and final structure, the Norlyn Building, will be torn down for a parking structure. That won't take place until the summer.

Here's a look back at the intersection through the decades !

Clarendon Hotel, Winnipeg, c. 1950
Former Clarendon Hotel

** The large version of this 1950s photo gives a great view of the three buildings.

Related:
Demolition starts on former A & B Sound building Free Press
Farewell, core eyesore Winnipeg Free Press

1 comment:

One Man Committee said...

Great overview as always.

This block always struck me as a little underwhelming (if not sad) considering its prime location opposite the undisputed number one shopping address between Toronto and Vancouver for the better part of a century. By the late 80s you had a couple of low end bars sandwiching a a couple of low rent shops and a burned out building... not exactly an image builder for downtown Winnipeg. This development should be an aesthetic improvement for Portage Avenue.