Friday, July 24, 2009

The King Eddy

When I hear the name "King Eddy" my mind instantly goes to 2 places- an era I was never a part of and a raunchy old hotel that now collects dust in one of Calgary's shady areas. A few years back the King Eddy closed its doors after 99 years of operation. It was the oldest hotel in the city, and in the final phase of its existence it provided shelter to two dozen men, who were evicted August 2004. The King Eddy had been through at least two heydays: in its first decade as a classy establishment on the flamboyant Whiskey Row, along 9th Street, when it operated 150 rooms and a restaurant with forty tables; and in the 1980s, when it became known as Canada’s oldest blues bar, a tradition that continued to the end.
(The New Concept)
That wasn't going to be the end, there was a fight and eventually rites were won and the King Eddy which at one time faced a wrecking ball now faces a much deserved revamping. Please see the links below. The first one being the story prior to the August 2004 closing, the second being a gallery of the design concepts and lastly, a recent article about the plans for the new King Eddy.

Over all, if the things move forward a small little part of me is rooting that they keep the general integrity of the King Eddy in some aspect of the new plans. It appears from looking at the designs that they have incorporated the old building in with the new which is exactly what I mean. However, condemned builds are old buildings and sometimes old buildings can not be salvaged so perhaps even something as small as moving that old wooden bar or that infamous neon sign into the new is enough to make it so the King Eddy's spirit lives on.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

Sure, but what are they gonna do in the summer when the ice castle melts?

I'm always excited to hear about any new cultural venues being built. The folk fest is planning a small theatre in Inglewood, and have you seen the plans for the new central library? Wowzers!

amourissima said...

Ooo! I'm learning something new everyday! I'll have to do some digging about the small theater in Inglewood!