Normally a 100th birthday would be cause for celebration, but not in the case of the St. Charles Hotel which opened August 1, 1913.
Vacant since 2004, the building was initially touted as the home of an upscale, boutique hotel. In recent years, though, the same owners have been keeping just one step ahead of the city which wants to seize it as a derelict building.
The block of Albert Street adjacent to the hotel has been the scene of a spectacular meltdown in the past 12 months. The neighbouring Albert Street Block burned to the ground in August 2012 and the much anticipated spring reopening of the Royal Albert Hotel, (also at one time touted to be redeveloped into a boutique hotel), turned out to be brief, (and bizarre.)
Despite its treatment over the last few years the St. Charles has managed to hang in there to reach the ripe old age of 100. Lets hope there are good times ahead for it and its neighbours.
For a history of the building, check out my Winnipeg Downtown Places blog post. Also see my Flickr album for the hotel which includes some interior photos I took just a couple of weeks ago.