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02.09.2016
Seventies-built Hotel Waldhaus to be demolished


Work on demolishing the Hotel Waldhaus on Zürichberg is to start in October, and not before time, as many would day. Some regard this Seventies-built hotel with its Brutalist architecture as the ugliest building in the city, though there are a number of aspects which will be sadly missed with regard to the way it has been run under Thomas Schmid for the past 30 years.
 
It is the original building on this site, a large extended chalet in traditional Swiss style, which remains sorely missed. This was duly demolished to make way for the current, grey, angular eyesore which opened in 1975. As the journalist who wrote this much abridged article in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper wrote, if it were not for the queue of taxis by the entrance, one would think this building were an old people’s home or a block of flats.
 
As to the interior of the hotel, this is another thing altogether. The beautifully appointed rooms have wonderful views over the city, the restaurant enjoys a good reputation and the wooden ceiling in the swimming pool is quite a feature, not to mentioned the lovely grounds. Then there is this delightful, if somewhat rickety, Dolderbähnli funicular railway to get up there.
 
The four-star hotel has also welcomed a number of famous opera-singers, actors and other artists such as the Rolling Stones (an English rock band), not to mention well known politicians and industrialists. According to the Weltwoche journal, the Bähnli bar there was former Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s favourite.
 
Then there have been some unforgettable staff too, such as Alice Gwerder, who ruled over the bar there for 30 years, working well into beyond retirement age, and Hanspeter Graf, who has been a waiter there for 36 years. It is said that when the 64-year-old’s regulars learn he might be on holiday, they postpone their stay. Summing up his years there, he said it had been a lovely time.
 
And what is to replace it? A new Waldhaus in superior architectural style to be opened in three years’ time.   
 
 
 


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