Former Zig Zag Zebra, at 30 King St. east was taken down to the ground today.
In the short time that I’ve lived in Hamilton I’ve already seen far too many beautiful old buildings torn down. King St. by Gore Park; the centre of Hamilton’s downtown core is walled by some of my favourite building facades. The buildings remind of New York, they are 4-5 stories, have huge floor to ceiling windows, and would make amazing lofts, and studio spaces. I noticed another architectural firm that is housed next to 30 King St. on the 2nd or 3rd floor -could be a good thing? When the architects start moving in, which they have been in Hamilton, you know that’s a sign, they’re usually the first ones in on the gentrification scene right after the artists.
The Century Theatre (also known as the Lyric Theatre) was a building I had walked by a million times en route to the Hudson on King St. (currently Club Absynthe) for acid jazz, white russians, and pool, from back in the day. Nearly a decade later it caught my eye when we were sussing out Hamilton as a potential place to buy a house and I thought of the old Century pretty much as a selling feature. This old abandoned theatre was living evidence of what was once a prosperous city with a rich arts community (the city in it’s hay day boasted over 6 major theatres -amazing for a city the size of Hamilton). To me the building served as a backdrop and muse for the cultural renaissance that I believe Hamilton is in for. The Century was demolished sometime during the winter of last year. I’ve even been sentimental enough to take a couple of the “Hamilton” bricks that are left in the rubble pile of the former Century.
Last summer the old Victorian house around the corner was demoed. It had been abandoned by it’s owner for years, and had become home to many raccoons and other pesky rodents. Despite it’s scavenger tenants, I still used to dream about buying the place and restoring it to it’s former glory. It’s now an empty dirt lot (soon to be brown field) that my neighbours currently use to park their car.