Hotel Médano – to be replaced by a viewing point?
PLANS to demolish the venerable Hotel Médano on the island’s south coast are “virtually complete”, according to the environment ministry.
It will be replaced by a mirador, or viewing point.
Miguel Velasco, director general for the coastal department, announced last week that the plans only awaited completion of the usual period of public consultation.
That is likely to be a fiery affair. The demolition of what many consider to be an iconic building has drawn fierce criticism from all quarters including the Cabildo who have repeatedly denounced the decision to restore the coastline for public access.
The Island Heritage Commission, made up of the Cabildo, the University of La Laguna, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Official College of Architects of the Canaries and the Association of Owners of Canarian Historical Buildings, issued a report last year condemning the move.
They asked Granadilla Council, in whose municipality the hotel is sited, to place a preservation order on it by including it in the Municipal Architectural Catalogue.
The College of Architects cited the hotel as an example of good architecture and an environmental boon to the area, protecting El Médano’s main square from prevailing winds.
The 65-room hotel was built on the site of an old tomato packaging plant in 1959 and has become part of the landscape for a generation of Canarians and visitors.
In face of the opposition the coastal department, through Miguel Velasco, has hinted that part of the building may be left standing behind the new mirador, provided it was used as a public space.
But Carmen Nieves Gaspar Rivero, mayor of Granadilla, does not hold out much hope of saving the building. She travelled to Madrid a few weeks ago to learn in more detail what will be the eventual fate of the area.
Leaving part of the building standing could be an option, she said, but that would depend on whether or not central government could reach an understanding with the owners.
The mayor said: “The environment department may have already held talks with the hotel’s owners but I can say nothing official.”