Sunday September 5, 2010


Demolishing History

City slammed for not doing enough to preserve Five Corners       



hank you for your interest about the Empress. All I was concerned about was the saving of some of Chilliwack's history.             


The Empress Hotel Friday as demo crews begin work. Voice photo.


    Yes, the hotel was run down, yes there have been problems in the Empress, BUT the history and unique architecture of the hotel should have been saved.

The problem was the bar and cabaret and social problems in Chilliwack not the building itself. Other pubs and drinking establishments will now take up the slack the closing of the Empress has caused in the past.

Additionally, could you imagine what a condo would be like with the history and architecture of a 100-plus year-old building would be like?

Look at Yale town in Vancouver and how much a condo there would be worth. even the development in New Westminster were the old BC Penitentiary was, they keep part of the pen and developed housing condos and made million of $$.

The City of Chilliwack used to pride itself on the history of this city, but i guess not any more.

We used to call it the historic Five Corners. It's a sad day to see such a beautiful piece of architecture go. A piece of Chilliwack history gone for ever. Yes, there were problems there but with a little ingenuity and a little money she could have been saved and preserved.

As far as i know the whole section, from the Empress right to Five Corners, is earmarked for destruction all because the city can make more money by building new townhouses. Why have the sign on Yale Road that says 'Welcome to Historic Chilliwack'?

So far, I haven't known about any other historic building coming down and haven't been involved with any other project in town.

The city, by trying to save the down town core, is destroying its heritage and if people think by getting rid of one building will get rid of the social problems in Chilliwack they are sadly mistaken.

It makes you wonder what building is next? The old court house is still standing as a eye sore and nothing is happening there yet and it closed years ago. Now that there is a 8-plex movie theater going up, what happens to the Paramount and the stores there?

Progress by destroying our heritage makes me wonder.

Thank you for you interest and have a great weekend.

Richard Erasmus, Founder of Save the Empress Facebook page, Vancouver


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