Time stands still for Times Change(d) - for now

The Fortune Building is saved from the wrecking ball — for now.

Committee recommends Fortune Building be protected but final decision still to come

The owner of the Fortune Building says the building has deteriorated so much the only economically viable option is to demolish it. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

The Fortune Building is saved from the wrecking ball — for now. 

Winnipeg's historical buildings and resources committee recommended Thursday the 133-year-old Main Street building be protected as a historical building.

The owner had wanted it demolished.

It means times won't be changing for Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club — at least not yet.

Building owner George Landis had asked the committee earlier today that the building not be placed on the list of historical resources.

Landis wrote in his submission that all the doors, windows and floors on the main floor have been replaced over the years.

The second and third floors have been vacant for 45 years, there is water damage, and the brickwork on the outside of the building is unstable, he said.

"In other words, the building is beyond repair and placing any impediment to demolition and redeveloping the site would be economically unfeasible and a disservice to the community," he wrote.

One of Winnipeg's oldest buildings

The Fortune Block was built in 1882 and has long been home to the Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club, a blues bar that plays host to both local and internationally known musicians.
At 133 years old, the Fortune Block is one of the oldest buildings in Winnipeg's downtown. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

At 133 years old, the Fortune Block is one of the oldest buildings in Winnipeg's downtown.

Once the building is placed on the historical resources list, the exterior and interior elements are protected from alteration or removal in the future except where approved through a heritage permit.

Last fall a car slammed into the front of the building, but club owner John Scoles vowed it would stay open.

On Thursday, Scoles said the blues club is special to him and the community, and its historical relevance is reason to keep it from being torn down. However, it may not end that way, he acknowledged.

"What we've built there is ... more than just four walls," he said.

"But these kind of situations in the past have proven to galvanize the community, and I expect this one to be the same."

Final decision yet to come

The recommendation to protect the building now goes to the downtown development, heritage and riverbank management committee where the owner can make a presentation, before the matter goes to city council.


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