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Building permit issued in 2010 on the front door of the downtown establishment

Demolition on Hotel Talisi expected to begin soon

By Michael Butler

Tallassee Councilman Bill Godwin made a definitive statement at the Nov. 9 city council meeting. "We're going to tear this building down."

Godwin was referring to the long-standing Hotel Talisi.

"It's long overdue," he added.

Some would call the former hotel and restaurant a landmark. It opened in the downtown district in 1928, but it has been closed since a fire did significant damage to the structure in 2009.

The building was condemned by the City of Tallassee in 2019. That same year, it was added to the "Places in Peril" list by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation.

Work being done to the structure in 2010

The Hotel Talisi is owned by Wylie Troupe. Godwin mentioned that city attorney John Smith would be contacting Troupe's attorney, Mike Harper, about an option to donate the property.

Fire damage in 2009

"Once it comes down, we would be free to do something with the property. If not, we will put a lien on the property," said Godwin.

He then put a time frame on a response - ten days.

"It's been 12 years we've been dragging this thing on. We're still getting bids on demolition. At the next meeting, we will do a budget amendment and commence with the demolition of this building."

Harper responded on behalf of Troupe regarding the future of the hotel.

"We are always willing to have discussions with the city to find a constructive and mutually beneficial resolution to this issue," he said.

Godwin said a "yes or no" answer on donation of the property is all that will be accepted.

"It's only fair to the existing businesses who have had to put up with bricks falling, rats, roaches, fleas running around their buildings. People say, 'Why can't you restore it?' It's not our building. We're not putting city money into private property. We don't have the money to put in there if we did."

1928 photo at the newly opened hotel. Courtesy of Bill Goss, "Images of America - Tallassee"
Extinguishing the blaze in 2009