Historic preservation committee wants more information on the future of the Aiken hotel
AIKEN, SC (WJBF) – It has been a long time since nobody spent the night at the Aiken Hotel. Many people tell the city’s rulers that they are unhappy with its current condition and the rulers say they are listening.
âIt was kind of everyone’s hotel in Aiken back when we had a lot of resorts and things like that,â said Ryan Bland, director of planning.
A business and property owner from Aiken wrote a letter to the city planning department, expressing concerns about the conditions of the Aiken Hotel.
In a working session Tuesday, the Design Review Board, a historic preservation committee, asked the owner for updates.
âThey did the most important things at the start in terms of investigating the stability of the interior, of the soles. And you have to go through the basement and really remove part of the first floor, which they did, I believe. So everything they did was sort of invisible, âsaid McDonald Law, chairman of the Design Review Board.
Bland added, âThere are parts that have walls that have been exposed to understand how they are structurally put together. Chassis, foundations and things like that. So it is in a partial state of inner demo but much of the interior remains the same. All bedrooms are in the same configuration.
During the working session, the members of the office reviewed the âdemolition by negligenceâ procedure. This is a step to potentially prevent the demolition of a historic structure and to ensure that the structure is maintained.
âWe don’t really have the power to force people to maintain their buildings beyond making sure the roof is in good condition and the roof is and the roof hasn’t failed. That would put it in the category of negligent demolition. If the structure was in danger of collapsing, let’s say, in my opinion, it’s far from the case, but it looks bad and I think that’s what we heard tonight, âa said Law.
The board decided they needed more information along with a formal owner report in order to make a decision. The owner declined our interview request.
Law added, “We’re trying to stress to the owner that these are things that are really more cosmetic, but they would go a long way in showing the community that this is a viable project.”
There is no fixed date for the transformation of the Aiken hotel into a Courtyard by Marriott boutique hotel. The Design Review Board will continue its discussions on the Aiken Hotel during its next working session on September 1.
The board of directors hopes to obtain the official plans of the Aiken hotel of the property in about sixty days and a letter of intent at its next working session.