Does the City Have a Role in Preserving Cultural Hotspots?
News that East Vancouver hotspot the Waldorf Hotel will close its doors on January 20 has elicited a major reaction across the board—from social media to City Hall.
After the announcement that the 1947 complex—which was renovated in 2010 to include a restaurant, a tiki bar, nightclub spaces, a recording studio, and an art gallery—has been sold to a development company, an online petition to Save the Waldorf went viral. The petition asks that Mayor Gregor Robertson deny any rezoning of the Waldorf property, and has garnered over 11,000 signatures to date.
The mayor has been very vocal about his support for preserving the Waldorf as heritage building and a cultural space. He took to Twitter and released a statement that he would move to protect the complex.
Mayor Robertson has asked City Council to explore how it can take steps to protect the Waldorf, including preventing issuance of a demolition permit and preparing a statement of significance about the building’s historic and cultural assets. He is also expected to ask city staff to meet with Waldorf Productions, the company that operates the tiki bar and nightclubs.
Does the City have a role in preserving private cultural hotspots like the Waldorf Hotel?
[Top Image: Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail]