Authentic Avalon: Fire in Midtown
Authentic Avalon: Fire in Midtown Club
by Abby Connors
Clubgoers searching for a good time, some drinks, and dancing, were met with something else last night: arson. The Inferno Room, one of the newer dance clubs that had recently sprung up in Midtown, burned down last night. While the Inferno Room itself was closed for a private event, the blaze was observed by a crowd that spilled out from nearby clubs and bars. Though ambulances arrived at the scene, it is unknown how many injuries were sustained in the conflagration.
Yes, you heard me, I said conflagration. After personally witnessing the blaze last night, I was disappointed to find all news stories this morning suggesting the club suffered only minor damage. Officially listed as a "gas leak scare", those news reports eventually admit there were some actual flames to be seen, but that is all they are willing to say. Their stories are nothing like the truth. The photos they used are stock photos, not pictures from today. You might have read the front page story or listened on Channel Five and thought that the Inferno Room was only damaged and would reopen soon. That is so far from the truth that the reporters should be ashamed of themselves. Please, anyone who even for a moment wants to know the truth, go to the Inferno Room's address. You don't have to listen to me when you can plainly see that the structure has been burnt down to the ground. Only a few stone walls remain, only the vaguest parts of the towering steeple can be seen.
This is a shame. I say that not for the loss of a nightclub, of which Avalon has many. Two new nightclubs will likely spring up in the void left by the Inferno Room, at least one of them gone by this time next year. No, I am distraught with the destruction of part of New Avalon's history. Part of the Inferno Room's marketable appeal had been its location: in the center of Midtown, the club was an old church. A graystone building of the Gothic revival style, it was built over a century ago. Deconsecrated back in the 80's and sold to a charitable organization as a downtown space to rehabilitate drug users, it was no longer a holy place, but at least in compassionate hands.
Unfortunately, the last few decades have not always been kind to charities. When the organization which owned the church went under, the property was moved around for years, spending more time inactive than being used for something. The church finally came under the ownership of the Carnegie Foundation. At first, nothing seemed odd or untoward about such an arrangement; the Carnegie Foundation has a long storied history of charity work and benefit galas. But when the young heir apparent to the Carnegie fortune announced that the building was going to now house a trendy dance club, many in Avalon were angry. Some called blasphemy, some decried the misuse of history. Whatever their complaints when the Inferno Room opened, they would all be sad to see the smoking crater that it is now.
Historic church, rehabilitation clinic, dance club - no matter how you knew it, the sad fact is that the building is now gone. You won't hear that reported anywhere else, but it's true. Go see for yourself. Nobody knows how or why - a situation common of many recent Avalon architectural tragedies. But a piece of Avalon has burned down, joining the tragedy in North Egan and the infamous-yet-historic Terminus Hotel. How much more of our beloved city are we going to lose? And when will they stop covering it up?
This is Abby Connors signing off.
Not sure the context? Check out The Case of the Dead Girl in my Apartment!
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