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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #1
Beiruti
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Question Questions regarding the Hotel District

Quote:
They're repairing the building that was damaged at Hariri's blast

Does anyone know the history/name of this building? Is it a hotel or residential?

I believe there was a crane there at the time of the blast in 2005, was it under construction or renovation at the time? Is the crane there now for re-construction or is it the same one that has always been there?
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 03:09 AM   #2
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It's the same crane that has been there since 2005. I'm not quite sure about the other questions, but I don't remember that I've ever seen it completely built before. Probably it was under construction/on hold for long time.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 07:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beirut! View Post
Does anyone know the history/name of this building? Is it a hotel or residential?

I believe there was a crane there at the time of the blast in 2005, was it under construction or renovation at the time? Is the crane there now for re-construction or is it the same one that has always been there?
Actually, this crane was there when I left in 1991! This building is under construction since 1974!
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Old August 6th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #4
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Are you sure??? If so then this is quite interesting... I wish we had more information. Any idea who the developer is?
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Old August 6th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beirut! View Post
Are you sure??? If so then this is quite interesting... I wish we had more information. Any idea who the developer is?
Yes, I am sure because I saw the construction site many times: I remember seeing it in 1976, 1980 & 1991. I have no idea who is the developer but it looks like a hotel.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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so that building has been empty for over 10 years ?
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Old August 6th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #7
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so that building has been empty for over 10 years ?
Jayme, I think that it has never been occupied
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Old August 6th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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why on earth was it built, if it was never used
there must be heaps of buldings in Beirut like that then
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Old August 8th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #9
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Jayme, it's called a civil war... it put an end to all the buildings under/c (duh) and many many buildings are in the same state as this one is.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beirut! View Post
Are you sure??? If so then this is quite interesting... I wish we had more information. Any idea who the developer is?
I believe that it's the Hotel St. Georges Annex. If it is, then it's the building the St. Georges owner has tried repeatedly, unsuccessfully, to get permission to join to the St. Georges with a tunnel (the Four Seasons, by contrast, got permission immediately for a tunnel linking it to the Marina).

The tunnel has been the source of all sorts of speculation - that the municipality's refusal was part of the pressure exerted on the owner to try to force him to sell, that the tunnel had been built anyway, in spite of the lack of a permit, and that it was then used by the assassins of Hariri to place one of their bombs. Speculation - not fact. If there had been one, I imagine we'd have heard of it from the Brammertz reports.

I really don't like the annex design. I think it shows the limitations of 1970's hotel architecture. The only concession to the legend of the St. Georges' gracefulness is the timid pink-lined arch. It can't even recognize the curve of the road it's on (notice how it staggers back rather than curving? Curves were what got Niemeyer in trouble with some of the orthodox modernists). If F Khoury could find a partner with well-lined pockets, and could get the municipality's approval, I think it would be a good site for a rebuild - taller, with bigger rooms and higher ceilings as would befit the annex to the St. Georges, rather than that 60's-70's Hilton minibox/minibalcony/minibar style. (Given Nabil Gholam's proven ability with the architectural language of 1930's and 40's Beirut, he would be a good choice). That assumes, of course, that the owner has the desire to face up to the municipality and tries to rebuild the St. Georges yet again...
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:35 AM   #11
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Thanks for the detailed info it really sheds some light on this building...but also reinforces the idea that the St. George is truly "cursed" - hopefully one day that hotel and tragic street can come alive.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:05 AM   #12
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NOW I REMEMBER the story of the tunnel! Thanks Ainmreisiot
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