The Nelson CARES Society is the recipient of the City of Nelson’s 2021 Heritage Award for their significant restoration work on Ward Street Place.
“This project – significant in both scale and impact – is of great benefit to the community, and as such is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2021 Heritage Award,” says Astrid Heyerdahl, chair of the heritage working group, which picked the winner.
This substantial initiative, with an approximate budget of $3 million, was done with great respect and care, honouring the building’s history and its current residents, both commercial and residential.
Heritage expertise was hired, ensuring Canadian Conservation Institute preservation priorities were adhered to, and documenting the process thoroughly from start to finish.
The project included a complete redo of the building’s electrical systems, installation of a fire suppression unit, and increased livability within the building, particularly in the individual rental units.
The original storefront Florentine glass transoms and entrance transoms were preserved, and restoration of the roofline cornice, entry doors, stairs and landings, basement unit, bulkhead and entrance windows, and increased visibility of storefronts & storefront bulkheads were all completed with remarkable attention to detail.
“Nelson CARES is very pleased that Ward Street Place is being honoured by this Heritage Award,” says board chair Ron Little. “The refurbishment of the Annable Block has been a seven-year effort.
“The commercial tenants, key to the financial stability of Ward Street Place, have been very supportive through all the disruptions. Most importantly, it was the individuals and businesses of the community who, through our Room to Live campaign, made this project financially possible.
“We thank the community for recognizing the value of affordable housing in Nelson. Although this award acknowledges the building’s exterior, the real story is the community it houses, the individuals who have modest, safe, stable and affordable housing.”
The heritage working group established this award in 2015 to recognize individuals, groups, businesses, or other organizations that have made an outstanding contribution towards the preservation and/or promotion of Nelson’s heritage, and to reward and encourage initiatives in support of it.
It comes with a $1,000 honorarium.
Previous winners are Touchstones Nelson for its award-winning Cold War Bunker project, builder/restoration specialist Joern Wingender, author/designer Peter Bartl, historian Greg Scott, the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce and local retailer Cartolina.