Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Diamond Block in Fort William 110 North Street....History Lost!!

This is the Diamond Block on 110 North Street in Fort William Ontario(now Thunder Bay).  It was an historic site and of Architectural heritage until the wrecking ball destroyed it in January of this year.  The letter shown below from Robin Rickards to the editor of the Chronicle Journal on January 7, 2012 says it all......but there is more to the bricks that were pulled more below!
Footnote:  The little sign above the door on the bottom right of the first photo reads "Chapples Annex".  That building was used as a small warehouse for the original Chapples Department Store(The Chapple's building also known as the Grain Exchange building still exists mostly withing the confines of the now "Victoriaville").  Be sure to click on all the pictures once or twice for enlargements.

If you look close at the south side of the building before it came down, you can read the words "Lyric Theatre" and further to the right of the picture you can read the word "Vaudeville"....the wording below that cannot be deciphered.  If anyone knows what it says, please email me, or write a comment.

 History has it that the Diamond block was once a thriving Vaudeville Theatre back near the beginning of the 20th century.  This picture states that "something" was only 10cents.  When I heard that the block was ready for demolition I searched back into my photos to find these pictures with the signage painted on the side of the building, and felt happy that at least this was preserved in photos.

This is how the block looked intact on the corner of North Street and Victoria Ave before the demolition.  The cars in the foreground are parked in the empty lot that was once the St. Louis Hotel.  I can't believe all the heritage buildings that have gone to the wrecking ball in the last few years.

The two pictures above are taken from a late 1940's Fort William Phone Book.  The businesses there were Goodfellow Outboard-Marine and the well known Diamond Taxi(hence Diamond Block).  Diamond Taxi still exists today as Lacey-Diamond Taxi and is situated in the old Kam Motors building on Leith Street here in Fort William. 

No comments: