Monday, December 16, 2013

King Eddy Hotel; if walls could talk...

East side of the construction site of the National Music Centre
It's been almost 10 months since the ground broke for the new-and-improved National Music Centre in East Village.
Time does fly! And so do the bricks of the historic King Eddy Hotel, it seems; construction of the new NMC has been constant since it first began and it was a matter of time until major changes became apparent.

There is hardly a sign for the old King Eddy Hotel
At 107 years of age, the King Eddy Hotel is one of the last heritage hotels left in the City of Calgary; which is why the plan is to incorporate it into the new music centre, rather then destroy it. However, due to its worn-out state, the hotel requires some major renovations to ensure the safety of all future visitors; although the improvements are not currently obvious and it seems as if the old structure is on its way to be utterly erased, it's all part of the grand plan... each brick is numbered, you see, in order for the restoration to be completely identical to the original hotel.

King Eddy Hotel is being taken down - brick by brick

Each brick is numbered for
the future restoration
Each brick is numbered for
the future restoration
The National Music Centre acknowledges the significance of such an historic building: "With a history of bringing people together under the banner of music, this former 'home of the blues' was a natural choice for the site of NMC" (nmc.ca).

Construction workers; hard at work
Construction workers; hard at work








Here is a quick reminder of what can be expected from the new, 160,000 sq.ft., 5-stories music centre:

Education programs, live performances, a radio broadcasting studio, exhibitions, a recording studio, a special collection of musical instruments to be used by artists, artists residence, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as well as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, a cafe and a gift shop. Within all of this cultural galore, the King Eddy Hotel will come back to Life as a public house / restaurant / live music venue.

A conceptual image of the new National Music Centre;
courtesy of nmc.ca
The centre is being built on both sides of 4th street SE (on 9th avenue SE); a walkway will connect the east and west sides of 4th street. It is scheduled to open in 2015!

West side of the construction site of the National Music Centre




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