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Known as Dizzy Block, this block has been a centre of business activity for much of Charlottetown’s history. Once made up of a number of individual buildings, the construction of the Confederation Court Mall stabilised this commercial core without intruding greatly on the streetscape. Though damaged in a 1970s fire, the building at 119 121 Grafton Street is now the oldest structure on the block.The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognised the long time existence of a pharmacy on the corner of Queen and Grafton Street with the placement of a plaque on the DesBrisay Building. (150 Queen Street, 99 Grafton Street) The DesBrisay Building was built to replace an earlier wooden apothecaries building. The landmark cannon barrel on the corner of Queen and Grafton Street was rescued from the waters near Fort Amherst and placed on the corner by Theophilus DesBrisay in 1860. Plans for the new memorial building led Holman’s of PEI president Alan Holman to modernize the facade of his Grafton Street storefront in 1962. The original brick and stone facing was covered in black and gray granite at street level with enameled steel panels on the upper stories. The modern facade was designed by Laurie Coles and built by the firm of Robert Petrie. [2] The above historic image shows the original brick and stone facing. Sadly, the Holman’s department store closed in 1985, after being in business for 150 years.LePage’s Shoes was another company that occupied the space. See historic image above. Begun by Lieutenant Governor Bradford W LePage, the company remained in the family and went on to be very successful. These are just two of the stores that occupied this large space over the years.A number of tenants would operate from the building until fall of 2009, when construction began on the new Holman Grand Hotel. The original foundation was used and the steel was removed from the facade. Architects from Halifax was hired to design the ten storey structure and James C. Johnson Associates were the construction managers for the project. The construction of the hotel was made more difficult because there was no place to work, due to the three buildings on three sides, and the street on the fourth. There was also the issue of different floor levels,
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as the buildings on either side had different heights and the floors were not at the same level. Features of the Holman Grand Hotel include a seven storey atrium, a transparent glass curtain wall on the top floor and scenic vistas from every guest room. It also includes an underground pedway (connecting it to the Confederation Centre of the Arts), a swimming pool, a spa, and a restaurant called the Redwater Rustic Grille. Measures have been taken to reduce the hotel’s environmental footprint, such as geothermal heat and air conditioning, low flow toilets and a microfiber biocleaner is used to clean the hotel. [4] According to a review of the hotel in the Globe and Mail, “The designers wanted the interior to reflect PEI’s natural history and that theme is immediately evident in the bright, spacious lobby. The “Island Contemporary” look emphasizes shades of green for the land, blue for the ocean and a rusty red for the province’s famous soil. Dune grasses are etched on many of the glass panels and a series of stunning landscape photos by John Sylvester have been placed throughout the hotel.” [3] The Holman Grand began receiving guests August 5, 2011.The Confederation Centre of the Arts appears to have influenced downtown Charlottetown even before it was constructed. Plans for the new memorial building led Holman’s of PEI president Alan Holman to modernize the facade of his Grafton Street storefront. The original brick and stone facing was covered in black and grey granite at street level with enameled steel panels on the upper stories. The modern facade was designed by Laurie Coles and built by the firm of Robert Petrie. [2]
vw polo blue motion City of Charlottetown