Rooms damaged at Blake Hotel where CA delegates will be staying

by: Jeff Smith Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - At least seven rooms reserved for Democratic National Convention delegates at an Uptown hotel were classified as "unsafe" by county inspectors Friday night.

Even more rooms at the Blake Hotel could be deemed unsafe during an additional inspection Saturday.

Huge chunks of the Blake Hotel stucco wall came crashing to the ground Friday. The hotel is a key part of the DNC, since it's hosting all 600 California delegates.

Contractors will need to set up scaffolding before they can begin to fix the exterior wall.

In total, nine stories worth of the stucco was ripped apart on the North Tower.

"At the corner of the building, we noticed, during unrelated inspections, that the wind had caught the stucco and had pulled it loose. So we had to tear it down," said Deputy Chief Rob Kinniburgh with the Charlotte Fire Department.

Kinniburgh said the eyesore will likely be visible when hundreds of delegates arrive Sunday morning.

It's the same section of the hotel that had similar problems just a few months ago.

About 120 college students on a special DNC program called The Washington Center are staying at the Blake Hotel. 

Many of them told Eyewitness News it's not the best first impression for the Queen City.

"It just looks very unfinished, like they're not quite ready yet," said guest Alexis Waksmunski. It likely won't be a great first impression when the California delegation checks in Sunday.

"It's kind of disconcerting that they're not prepared for it," said guest Shane Doyle.

County officials discovered similar issues  with the stucco on the same tower six months ago.

In May 2011, city inspectors discovered serious structural damage and shoddy electrical work in the rooms.

The rooms have since been rewired and brought up to code.

City fire inspectors told Eyewitness News the hotel is safe, and they aren't concerned for the safety of other guests since they are shutting down the damaged rooms.

Contractors will start repairing the wall Saturday morning.