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Historic Winder hotel to be demolished after Christmas

File Photo The old Granite Hotel on the corner of Broad Street and Athens Street in downtown Winder will be torn down.

File Photo The old Granite Hotel on the corner of Broad Street and Athens Street in downtown Winder will be torn down.

WINDER -- The city of Winder has plans to level one of the town's oldest buildings.

Councilmen could vote Dec. 6 to decide on a demolition contractor for the city-owned Granite Hotel.

It's a part of local history, but is a necessary measure said Mike Rice, chairman of the Winder Downtown Development Authority.

Rice said that with deterioration comes costly upkeep. Since purchasing it in 2004, the city has spent more than $200,000 to stop the building from crumbling.

Built in 1899, the two-story hotel was originally constructed to give new residents a place to stay while they settled in to build homes there.

Current Winder residents can expect the 112-year-old building to be razed shortly after Christmas, Rice said.

"We're going to wait until after Christmas, because we don't want to mess up the holidays for the businesses nearby," Rice said.

The city has received bids from demolition companies ranging from $178,000 to $600,000 for the job. Councilmen plan to review those bids at the Dec. 6 meeting.

Once demolished, the city plans to build a downtown park in the place where the Granite Hotel was built.

In addition, Rice said, the city may build a monument of some type as a tribute to the town's history.

A new city park, Rice added, "will hopefully give us a shot in the arm."

City Councilman Sonny Morris said he'll "hate to see (the building) go, but we're at the point where we have to do this. It's just about ready to fall down."

Added Morris: "I feel like it's the right thing to do, and I hope it works out for everybody."

Morris said construction of a park area will mark the beginning of the city's revitalization, or "Streetscape," program.

Authorities said demolition of the granite building will involve a large amount of engineering to keep it from damaging other buildings or city streets as it comes down.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

Viewer 2 years, 4 months ago

Meanwhile, at the Winder Wal-Mart business is booming! Thank god they built outside of town so we can go buy cheap stuff made in China and let our nice city center with independent business owned by people who live locally crumble. I'm sure a park on the 1/4 acre of property will be a big draw to get people back downtown. Plus, it can be the big kickoff for the Streetscape program which will be celebrated by the tearing down of a 102 old granite building!

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dan 2 years, 4 months ago

It's always sad to see such a historic building demolished.

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Nikki 2 years, 4 months ago

I really hate to see the old building go. But it stays vacant so much because it needs so many repairs. I like the idea of seeing the money go to something that more people could use. They can also take some of the old building materials and use them in the new park. If it is indeed granite then they could make park benches or flower beds from it.

I can't see throwing away that kind of money on a building when it could be used for better projects.

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