Monday, August 2, 2010

Rosbergs site cleanup continues

below: Rosbergs department store building in Niagara Falls, Ont., seen on Jan.5, 2009, looking from the south-east. Queen St. runs in the foreground, Erie Ave. runs along the front of the store in the left distance.
above: same view, Oct.5, 2009, early in the morning, the day after Rosbergs had burned (see also here); smoke still rises from the interior. Note the rear block wall is still (mostly) standing.
above: same view, still on Oct.5, 2009, late in the afternoon - note the upper part of the rear wall is now gone - it was unstable after the fire, and was demolished earlier in the day by a block and crane.
above: same view, Oct.6, 2009 - note the lower part of the rear wall has now been removed, revealing the full extent of the damaged structural steel supports left twisted within the building.
above: same view, Oct.8, 2009 - an official examines the wreckage. Note the side brick walls which had flanked Queen St. at the left have now been demolished, and some of the higher structural steel beams have been taken down.
above: same view, Oct.25, 2009 - more of the steel structure has been taken down. The fire marshall's office was examining the site after the fire.
above: same view, May 25, 2010 - seven months later; though more steel has been taken down, inside the site still remains essentially untouched all winter; most of the steel and masonry and debris remained on-site as it was, due to asbestos contamination (see here).
above: same view, July 31, 2010 - two months later, the site has been cleared: now the basement walls can be seen, outlining the footprint where the old Rosbergs store stood.
below: Jul.30, 2010, looking at the Rosbergs site from the Queen St. side, closer to Erie Ave.; an excavator is inside the former basement; note the pipe sticking out of the old parged rubble-stone foundation.

above: same view, Jul.30, 2010 - the excavator knocks the wall down. This stone-rubble foundation probably dates back at least to the old Armstrong Hotel, which had once stood on the north-east corner of Queen and Erie (see further below) and which was sold to Jacob Rosberg by the Armstrong family around 1919. The Armstrong Hotel would have occupied the bottom portion of the photo.
above: this is the same view as the previous two shots, as seen earlier on Jun.6, 2010, looking at the mess inside. The same foundation wall is seen at the centre right.
below: seen at the far right, this is what the Armstrong Hotel, on the north-east corner of Erie Ave. and Queen St., looked like in 1900. The series of buildings next to the hotel, running north along Erie the right, became the Rosbergs store (see here)
[above photo and below photo from the Niagara Falls Ont. library archives]
above: a postcard view of the same corner, dated Aug.13, 1912; the gabled Armstrong Hotel building is seen at the right. Note the steam visible from locomotives behind the then-Grand Trunk railway station in the left distance; the same building - now a CN station - located on Bridge St., is still there and still in use today.
Also note that both streetcar and train tracks crossed Erie Ave. in front of the Armstrong; also note the large incandescent glass globe which provided illumination above the intersection. above: the same corner where the Armstrong once stood, seen Oct.8, 2009, as rubble from the Rosbergs' fire lays scattered on the street.

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