Purfylle: Princess Tower

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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Princess Tower

Guildford Hotel Belvedere is restored

The Guildford Hotel, built in 1883, is a well loved landmark. In September 2008 the beautiful building went up in flames. The exterior of the building remained. A ridiculously long and arduous process of negotiation between councils and owner saw the poor building remain in a state of limbo for year after year. Delays were endless as decisions about compliance to laws regarding car bays (obviously not in place when the building was first built) caused costly delay after delay.


In June 2015 a controversial decision to allow units to be built at the rear of the site allowed a viable way forward for the hotel's restoration. Restoration began in earnest and on the 27th of February the Belvedere was hoisted upon the roof.

Guildford Hotel belvedere is lifted off the ground

We were heading our to buy some groceries when on a whim we decided to go and watch the pretty princess tower returned to her roof top.

As we arrived on the scene the bell shaped tower was already a foot in the air.

Guildford Hotel belvedere is lifted off the ground and ground crews perform safety checks

Spectators were in abundance on both street corners to observe the raising of the tower.

Locals gather on street corners to observe and photograph the historic moment of Guildford Hotel belvedere being restored Locals gather on street corners to observe and photograph the historic moment of Guildford Hotel belvedere being restored

It was at this point that hubby decided he was hungry and we should go and grab some snacks for the event, he was insistent that although the tower was off the ground that the winds were too fierce and it would take ages for the lifting of the tower to proceed.

Guildford Hotel

 As we walked away the crane did not seem to have moved. The bakery was full of people and I was impatient with the wait to be served. We were back to see the restoration of the tower 10 minutes later. We'd missed the excitement of the tower being air lifted but luckily got to see it's final descent into it's position.

Guildford Hotel belvedere being lowered into position

Guildford Hotel belvedere being guided into position by the construction crew

Camera crews were on the scene to capture the historic moment that bureaucracy had nearly stopped from ever happening.

Photographers were in abundance to capture the moment the Guildford Hotel Princess tower is restored

Drones were used to capture aerial shots of the event.

Drones were used for aerial shots of the Princess Tower

 Brave workmen putting life and limb at risk should something go wrong ensured the smooth final positioning of our beloved tower. You can just see his orange shirt in the corner next to the railing as he stuck his head under the tower to see everything going well inside.

Every care was taken to ensure final positioning of the Guildford Hotel Belvedere went smothly

The success of the final placement was radioed to the ground crew and the whole street burst into applause.

Finally our beloved Princess Tower, the crowning glory of the Guildford Hotel is restored

Had I known when we left the house that we were heading out to see such a historic moment I would have taken my DSLR. Instead I had to make do with a nearly flat phone with a screen I could barely see in the glare of full sun.

The crowning glory of the Guildford Hotel is restored

27 comments:

  1. I watched with similar excited the raising of a May Pole last year. It was a cold blustery day and we weren't sure they'd get it hoisted. It was a 3 hour ordeal done by hand, sticks, poles and a lot of man power, but what a sight to see.

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    1. Lifting it by hand would certainly have added to the excitement, those maypoles are not small!

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  2. Hi Stella, it's nice that the hotel has finally got it's belvedere back where it should be and it's amazing the photo quality you can get on a phone.

    Your town looks lovely and open.

    xx

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    1. We are very lucky to have some open spaces, but as our population increases the density is increasing.

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  3. what a fab building and i love the bell tower. that is great that it is back in place.

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    1. We call it a bell tower too because of it's bell shape, but without an actual bell to ring I guess it's not what it should properly be called.

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  4. What a great project and quite a crowd the tower pulled!

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    1. I think they kept it as quiet as possible to keep the crowds from getting even bigger.

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  5. It's great to see that it is being brought back to former glorious rather than just being left

    Thank you for linking up

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    1. We were starting to despair it would ever get restored.

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  6. What a beautiful tower. I am glad you managed to catch it and then share with us #MySundayPhoto

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    1. I was really pleased we got to see it even though I was totally unprepared.

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  7. That's amazing that it is being brought back to how it used to be and you did amazing shots. xx

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    1. I would never have expected that a phone could take photos of that quality.

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  8. Gorgeous!! Just count on there ALWAYS being something amazing, and have that camera at the ready!!

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    1. The big camera gets a bit heavy to carry around for just in case, but I certainly missed it on this occasion.

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  9. Really cool photos, and how fun you got to get on this!!
    xo
    Valerie

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    1. I love when a little spontaneity turns into a fun memory.

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  10. Wish they had done that just two weeks earlier so we could have watched it together! But so pleased it has been restored finally!

    Athena x

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    1. At least we got to see it on the ground! I was sure I had pictures of it being built but I couldn't find them.

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  11. Very cool!
    Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-walls-of-san-juan.html

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    1. Thanks for hosting such an amazing photo linky :o)

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  12. What a cool series of photos. You must have been quite patient to get them all.

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    1. It all happened so fast, I didn't have to be very patient which was a surprise.

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  13. Amazing series! I am an Architecture so these photos rocks! #mysundayphoto

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I'm sure you can appreciate the obstacles that had to be overcome to rebuild the roof and strengthen the walls before the belvedere could be replaced on top.

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  14. You're so lucky to have been in that place at the right time! Awesome! :) #PhotoFriday

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