I am writing this letter as a previous owner of the Arlington, Inn for seven years, beginning in 1997.
I have difficulty understanding why Tim Lasiuta feels it is his personal mission to preserve this facility. Is he an expert and does he know this property from top to bottom?
I can tell you I know this building, and the old north and west wings are not structurally sound. In fact, the space under the tavern could collapse at any time.
When I purchased the hotel I did apply for a Historical Resources Grant from the Government of Alberta to refurbish the building and designate it as a historical site.
After a lengthy study, my application was denied as the facility had too many structural changes and it did not have the original façade.
I did spend significant funds on renovations and was very fortunate to receive a small fix-up grant from the Red Deer Main Street Project. The facility inside and out was in good shape for the shape it was in, plus an asset to the urban fabric of downtown Red Deer.
I sold the hotel and unfortunately the building slipped into a state of disrepair.
These old buildings are a continuous work in progress and it would not be economically viable to bring it back now to some state of glory.
Recently I looked through the windows and was devastated with what I saw. The inside has been trashed.
Even though the City of Red Deer plans on demolishing the building, why did they not monitor the situation before the seller was allowed to sign over a wreck?
The city had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Arlington’s past with tours, etc. during Historical Week or some other special event. This would have given an opportunity for our interested community to say farewell to a landmark and a part of our downtown history.
I have fond memories of this once respectful downtown hotel.
Many folks gathered or stayed there and also have similar wonderful memories. Great friendships were developed over the years and I was fortunate to be part of it.
I hope the new development recognizes, at least in name, the downtown history of the Arlington.