It was recently reported that protesters prevented construction workers from removing one of the last remaining sections of the Berlin Wall to accommodate a new road to be built as part of the development of a luxury condominium. This section of the wall is covered in artwork by about 120 artists and forms part of the outdoor East Side Gallery. While the west side of the wall was covered in graffiti, it was not until the border was opened in 1989 that artists were permitted to paint on the east side of the wall.
Although this section of the wall and the artwork are to be relocated, because of the cultural and historical significance of the Berlin Wall, it is unfortunate that it could not be preserved and incorporated into the plans for the new condo development. This is a challenge that developers frequently face when their condominium site is occupied by a structure that some people claim is of such historical significance that it needs to be preserved – although in many cases, the structure is not truly a historic structure, but has sentimental value for some people because of its past.
Many developers do make efforts to incorporate parts of existing historical structures into their development, which adds to the uniqueness of the development. For example, the One King West Hotel and Residences incorporated the former head office building of the Dominion Bank, which was built in 1914, in the new development. The original bank vault is now being used as a unique venue for private receptions.