The Hotel Ještěd and TV tower are well-known landmarks that can easily be seen as one makes their way towards the town of Liberec. The spacecraft-like structure, designed by Perret-prize-winning architect Karel Hubáček, was a gem for the communist regime when it opened in 1973 and was considered a popular destination by many.
During the period between 1973 and 2012, the building went through the hotel equivalent of the seven stages of grief, deteriorating from a shining jewel to a communist relic.
“We want Ještěd to be a phenomenon again for people in the Czech Republic,” explains Milena Jánská, the director of Ještěd 73, a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Hotel Ještěd and its award-winning tower.
To recreate this phenomenon, Ještěd 73, who have already restored the granite obelisk, a separate hotel lounge, and phase one of the hotel bar, is looking for an additional 300,000 CZK to restore the remaining portion of the Ještěd bar through a new Czech crowdfunding platform.
“We want to draw public attention to Ještěd and its condition, and small changes, which can be done quickly to help generate donations,” explains Jánská of her decision to experiment with crowdfunding.
Part of the remaining restoration process involves returning the bar to the original Mad Men standards of octogenarian and the interior’s original architect Otakar Binar, who is overseeing the reproduction of everything from bar stools and chairs, right down to the rounded tables with lightening glass panels.
Of course, Jánská also realizes that not everyone will donate to save a national cultural monument for just good feelings and a love of architecture alone. With this in mind, Ještěd 73 devised a range of gifts which donors can choose from – though this is solely dependent upon how much money you donate to the cause.
For basic donations a free cup of coffee in the newly remodelled bar will be available, while more generous donors can expect gifts like posters of the technical drawings by Otakar Binar of the bar furniture, a guided tour in both public and private spaces of Ještěd with dinner included or, for those willing to spend big, a one-night stay in what many have dubbed “the spacecraft”.