The LuLac Edition #1956, February 21st, 2012
Like old man river, the Hotel Sterling just keep rolling along. The streets have been blocked because the City administration is convinced someone will get hurt. My prediction is that if and when they decide to tear this thing down, it will be a lot like Rasputin. It'll take a while to kill it.
Local architect Carl Handman says that maybe we shouldn't be so hasty. Handman told the Times Leader that maybe they should explore the cost of structurally securing and mothballing the landmark Hotel Sterling for possible future preservation when the economy improves. Handman isn’t trying to stop the county from proceeding with demolition design. Both options could be bid out to determine the true costs and make an informed decision, he said.
Meanwhile, Council member Rick Williams penned a letter giving his views:
In September 2011 the City of Wilkes-Barre condemned the Hotel Sterling and closed adjacent vehicle traffic lanes. Not much has happened since then.
At 6 PM on Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Luzerne County Council will hold a public work session to discuss the Hotel Sterling, reviewing the current status of the structure and options for its future. The focus of the work session will be on where we are and where we go from here, with an eye to the issues, costs and details of those future options. We can end the inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians, address the blighted property and bring a resolution to the issue without delaying it for months to come.
For an understanding of the current condition of the building and to facilitate a healthy discussion, I recommend that all interested citizens read the documents that are available on the Luzerne County Council page of the county website at www.luzernecounty.org. Our new county government is committed to transparency and openness, so we will conduct the discussion in an open work session, but the discussion itself should not distract us from moving to resolution of the matter.
My hope is that persons from the City of Wilkes-Barre, our County and City Vest can work together to decide how best to quickly resolve the situation reasonably, considering public safety, liability, and the responsibilities of all parties involved.
Member Luzerne County Council
This issue is not going away anytime soon. There are people still angry at CityVest and are wondering where that 6 million dollars went. There should be a full blown investigation into that thing. Plus, you have a citizens group wanting to save the landmark. There is no shortage of opinion on this one.
The Luzerne County Council will hold a public work session at 5:15 p.m. today in the county’s Emergency Management Agency building on Water Street in Wilkes-Barre to discuss general business. Discussion on the Hotel Sterling project will begin at 6 p.m.