Arlington Inn demolished

A crowd of varying sizes watched as an excavator ripped through the Arlington Inn on Monday, pulling apart roof supports, knocking down walls and yanking out old tubs, a water heater and piping.

Leona Hill and her sons

A crowd of varying sizes watched as an excavator ripped through the Arlington Inn on Monday, pulling apart roof supports, knocking down walls and yanking out old tubs, a water heater and piping.

A pile of splintered wood, bricks and wiring grew throughout the day, as the jaws of the machine chewed their way through the north side of the building at 4905 51th Ave.

As the interior was exposed, curtains flapped in the breeze, towels still hung on towel racks and paintings rested on the walls, before falling into the debris pile.

Marj Curran remembered buying some of the items she saw falling into the heap, including one of the paintings on the walls.

Curran worked at the Arlington Inn for nearly 14 years, before going to work at the Rancher’s Valley Inn, across the street, a couple years ago.

She was one of the many people viewing the demolition on Monday.

“It was a good place to work,” Curran said. “A lot of the people here today were old-time staff and old-time customers.”

Curran said it’s a shame to see the building torn down. “It should have been turned into a senior place or something.”

She wonders where people will go to socialize, with the Arlington gone and the Rancher’s Valley Inn soon to shut down.

“City council should be tarred and feathered for their decision to do this,” Curran said.

The Pidherney’s Trucking demolition crew put up metal fencing around the site to keep the public at a safe distance. Workers took turns hosing down the inside of the building to keep the dust down.

Larry Lutz decided to take a look after hearing that Monday was the day the work would begin.

He remembers being a young man and his boss taking him down for a drink at the Arlington Inn, where they’d “have the odd sarsaparilla.”

“I would love to have seen it when it was first erected,” Lutz said. “It was supposed to be a fantastic piece of craftsmanship.”

The Arlington Inn was built 110 years ago.

But Lutz isn’t against the demolition. “It’s time I think. It’s seen better days,” he said.

Lutz was able to get a souvenir that one of the workers let him have, a brick from the building. On the top of the brick it read P&C RD. Lutz figured he’ll label it and give it to a friend, who is building a cabin, to insert into a wall. People wishing to purchase bricks for 10 cents a piece can contact 403-343-8000.

Many other people were creating mementoes at the site by taking photos or videotaping the tear-down.

Dale Nielsen was just watching, sitting on a seat he’d brought with him. He said he first walked into the Arlington Inn in 1957. He was working on the rigs, making $2.20 an hour. Beer was 10 cents a glass and he could buy 20 for $2.

“It’s pretty sad. There’s a lot of people my age — I’m 70 — who have a lot of memories in there,” Nielsen said.

He said the Arlington was a well-built building. “I don’t think it being a parking lot is going to make it better here.”

The City of Red Deer bought the hotel with plans to revitalize the downtown core. The cost of the demolition and building is $1.5 million.

The city received a petition to reconsider demolishing the building, but moved forward with plans to tear it down.

Just Posted

Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

TORONTO — Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational… Continue reading

Range of reactions to possible holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

The federal government’s intention to enact a statutory holiday aimed at remembering… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke from B.C. gets in the way of mountain scenery for tourists

JASPER, Alta. — Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month