Heritage society denounces Chateau Laurier redesign as “heritage vandalism”

OTTAWA — An Ottawa preservation society is blasting the redesign of an addition to the historic Chateau Laurier hotel as “the most disgraceful act of heritage vandalism of our generation.”

Ottawa Heritage fired the salvo in a statement this week in response to the latest revision of the modernist design, which included changes such as reducing the addition’s height by one story.

Leslie Maitland, who co-chairs the organization, says the proposed structure looks like a glass box, which would be incompatible with the more than century-old hotel’s “picturesque” sensibility.

But the lead architect on the project says mimicking the chateau’s whimsical style could cause confusion about what elements of the property are historic.

Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance says the public backlash to the project since late 2016 has at times been hurtful, but has ultimately influenced his team’s designs for the better.

Ottawa City Council is slated to discuss the project later this month.

The Canadian Press

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