Friends of Architecture gather tonight to remember Cuba’s St. James Hotel - Olean Times Herald: News - Friends of Architecture gather tonight to remember Cuba’s St. James Hotel: News

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Friends of Architecture gather tonight to remember Cuba’s St. James Hotel

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Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 10:50 am

CUBA - Wednesday evening at the Arnold Community Center in the Cuba Fire Department will be a time to remember for those who come to reminisce about a notable hotel recently destroyed by fire.

The Cuba Friends of Architecture (CFA) will gather at 7 p.m. to share their tales and reflections of the St. James Hotel, an antiquated Main Street edifice destroyed in a May 19 fire. Carol Donovan, CFA secretary, said that photographs of the building and related stories will be recorded onto a DVD during the meeting.

“We hope to have a digital camera. If anyone would like to talk about the St. James Hotel and have their story recorded, we will have little recorders and papers there to write something down,” she said. “We want to get people together to just chat, because then they can remember other things. So if we can get people together to say ‘Oh I remember,’ it might help somebody else to remember.”

Ms. Donovan said that proceeds from DVD sales will help fund the building’s cleanup. Ms. Donovan said that the building’s owner, Mr. Grimaldi, was renovating the building at the time of the fire and added that he planned to install a bar and possibly restore the hotel’s rooms.

“We heard this gentlemen didn’t have insurance yet and we really were happy that he wanted to do something with this building. All these years we were afraid that someone would come along and get rid of it,” she said. “People want to tear down buildings instead of trying to save them. We really felt bad that he couldn’t accomplish what he had set out to do.”

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