Published Jan 15, 2013The Waldorf Hotel's recent sale and impending closure caused a massive stir in the Vancouver arts and music community, and a petition was launched in an effort to save what may see as a cultural institution. It turns out that the outcry may have done some good, since Vancouver's city council voted today (January 15) to prevent demolition for at least 120 days.
Since the Waldorf's sale involved private parties, the city reportedly has little power to prevent the sale. Still, that didn't stop the council from unanimously voting to save the building from being knocked down until at least May 15. In the meantime, it's possible that the structure, which was built in 1947, could be designated a heritage building.
But while today's decision will allow staff time to complete a heritage assessment, it will not be enough to stop Waldorf Productions from shutting down operations on Sunday (January 20).
That said, the Vancouver Economic Commission may be able to assist the Waldorf's current operators in moving some of their programming to a new location. Of course, this may be easier said than done given Vancouver's notoriously volatile climate for venues.
The Waldorf's new owner, condo developer Solterra Group of Companies, has already promised that it won't knock down the hotel. What exactly this means for the future of this cultural hotspot is obviously unclear.
As of press time, over 17,000 people have signed the petition to save the Waldorf.
UPDATE: The Waldorf Creative Team has penned an open letter to Gerry Nichele, CEO of the Solterra Group, which you can read here.