This building is probably my favourite that I have ever seen. It is an iconic landmark for my city but it has become abandoned with many rehabilitation plans that have fallen through or are not official. I figured I would post about it here even though the rehabilitation hasn't started or been officially approved, but it is so cool and the previous plans for it were amazing.
Here is a quick history timeline I copied from wikipedia:
1911 - Businessman Harry Louis Frost approaches the city about building a grand hotel.
1914 - A building permit is issued for construction on the site of the Waldorf Hotel.
1916 - The hotel opens with a lavish banquet and dance on 5 June.
1922 - Prior to the 1922-23 season, the NHL would hold its Governors meeting at the Royal Connaught Hotel on King Street, where the visiting NHL teams who came to town to play against the Hamilton Tigers stayed as well.
1927- In 1927, CKOC radio station was finding the Lister Building accommodations unsatisfactory and the radio station was moved to the 11th floor of the Royal Connaught Hotel. The transmitter power was raised from 50 to 100 watts. For a brief time, CKOC and CHML shared the same frequency... 880 on the radio dial. In 1931, CKOC changed to the 630 on the dial and boosted power to a full 1,000 watts. The radio business was beginning to boom!
1929- The hotel expands into a neighbouring building.
1930- United Hotels Company, which owned the Connaught, announces it has been sold. The new owner adds 200 rooms and turns the bottom floors into offices and shops.
1952- The hotel is sold to the Sheraton chain, which later completes a million-dollar renovation.
1973- The hotel is again sold, this time to Toronto-based Citicom. Another renovation worth $4 million is completed.
1988- The hotel is sold to Joymarmon Properties Ltd.
1992- Joymarmon loses the hotel when its mortgage holder forecloses.
1993- The hotel becomes a franchise under the Howard Johnson chain.
2002- Canmac Hotels Corporation, a master at reviving struggling hotels, buys the hotel, assumes its $6-million debt and promises full-scale renovations.
2004- Hotel closes after going into receivership.
2005- Five local businessmen buy the hotel for $4.5 million.
2008- Real Estate developer Harry Stinson makes a deposit with plans to reopen it for Christmas 2009.
2008- June 2nd 2008, Harry Stinson makes a public presentation of his proposed 100-storey Connaught Towers at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce building. Once complete, it will become the tallest building in Canada. Three months later, on Thursday September 4th, Harry Stinson closes up the Connaught Towers sales office in downtown Hamilton and the project is officially cancelled.
Here are some pictures of what it was, what it is, and what it was planned to be:
Royal Connaught 1920s (postcard):
Royal Connaught after addition:
Royal Connaught lobby, 1940s I believe (postcard):
Royal Connaught lobby as it sits abandoned today:
Royal Connaught messanine floor, 1940s I believe (postcard):
Royal Connaught messanine floor as it sits abandoned today:
Royal Connaught abandoned and boarded up main floor and exterior as it sits today:
Once a floor full of the grandest hotel rooms, now completley gutted:
The 2008 official rendering for the planned Connaught Tower which was an addition to what would have been a restored Royal Connaught Hotel. At 100 stories it would have been the tallest building in Canada:
A 2008 brochure for the Connaught Tower:
The current unofficial plan for the rehabilitation of the Royal Connaught hotel with the addition of a condo which I believe is 27 stories: