A Calgary landmark in the East Village is gone, but not for good.
The King Edward Hotel on Ninth Avenue and Fourth Street S.E. has been almost completely disassembled — its pieces set aside while the National Music Centre is constructed around it.
The century-old Eddy will be reborn as part of the new 160,000 square foot facility when it opens in 2016.
“The Eddy was in pretty rough shape so to actually restore it and rebuild it, we had to bring it down brick by brick, and we're following Parks Canada heritage standards,” said Mary Kapusta, the National Music Centre’s marketing and public relations manager.
The Eddy began its life as a railway hotel, later evolving into a legendary blues bar. Most recently it was used for low-rent housing but was condemned in 2004.
“The problem with the Eddy is not only that it was structurally unsafe, I also think there was asbestos, mould. It's not a safe place to go into,” she said.
Kapusta said the Eddy’s history is one reason it needed to be saved.
Its numbered bricks, the iconic neon sign and even some graffiti from the washroom walls will be re-assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The National Music Centre will be a multi-purpose venue, housing the Cantos Music Collection, performance spaces, recording studios, classrooms, radio broadcasting facilities and a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.