Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't go changing, readers plead

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News that downtown's Fortune Block, which houses the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, is about to be sold and perhaps demolished, reminded readers that times do indeed change -- but we don't have to like it.

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Why would we consider demolishing a whole block of buildings when there are surface-parking lots galore downtown that could be developed?

Surface-parking lots need to be taxed at a higher rate that reflects their potential for development (see "land value tax"). Otherwise, demolition of heritage buildings is always going to be more attractive than developing surface lots in downtown Winnipeg.

-- Harry Kuootir

You only need to look across the street to the east side of Main to see what happens when buildings get knocked down. Big, often-empty parking lots. Not a vision for a safe and prosperous downtown.

-- PortageMain

Nothing is forever; times do change. However; the block isn't sold yet, and it's not being demolished yet. This article posits that "if" this happens, and "if' that happens, another thing "might" happen. The owner might not think he can recreate what he has there -- "if' he has to go -- but nothing is stopping him from starting fresh in another location. The scene exists independent of a space. If it doesn't, there's no scene.

-- tommyg

It is a tough position to be in. On one hand I want to see downtown Winnipeg succeed and grow. On the other, I would love to see all my favourite hole-in-the-wall places to be around forever.

-- sputnik

Let's hope that the new owner has some vision and realizes what a jewel he or she owns. Those buildings are really wonderful. Kudos, by the way, to whoever repaired the other heritage building on Main just the other side of the Humphry Inn. It looks so much better than it did before the work.

-- ProudofWinnipeg

I went to this place once and my initial impression was not good. Terrible odour at the entrance and very cramped and dark inside. Have the health inspectors been there lately? I was hungry but didn't want to order food from there that night. Had a bottle of beer and got out of there. Tear it down and replace it with more condos.

-- #1 Dad

Sometimes we seem to have so little vision when we find it so easy to part with places that have really worked for Winnipeggers. As well as the artists that played there, the list of people who stopped in after performing at some of the city's better concerts, or while doing some moviemaking, is quite impressive. It never needed people like # 1 Dad. He does belong in Earls. He doesn't get it and people at Times Change(d) aren't any more likely to get Earls.

-- K Ross

This is good for downtown. Unfortunately, this is what happens when slum owners own old buildings. Too bad the Winnipeg Hotel isn't being sold as well.

To all my bluegrass, folk and country friends -- don't worry, music will live on. You have to admit that place was a dive. I certainly will not miss the smell inside of Times Change(d).

-- Red River Man

Heritage buildings that have not been maintained are often not worth saving unless they are truly significant in some way. Otherwise it becomes, "This area is very run-down but it used to be very vibrant. However, we can't develop it, to make it vibrant again, because we'd have to tear down these reminders of how vibrant it used to be."

-- John9

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 10, 2012 A8

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