Heritage BC has honoured the Nelson CARES Society for its efforts in restoring the Annable Block (also known as Ward Street Place). The building was chosen as the winner of conservation category for this year’s Heritage BC awards.
Nelson CARES bought the building in 2002, which is home to 45 residential and seven commercial tenants.
“It was truly a labour of love to restore and bring dignity back to this amazing building and to the people who live there,” said project manager Jenny Robinson, who recently retired from the organization.
The award was presented Wednesday during the joint conference between Heritage BC and the BC Museum Association.
“This award is a wonderful acknowledgement for the building which now outwardly reflects the safety, stability and sense of community for the residents inside,” Nelson CARES chair Ron Little said.
The Annable Block was built in 1912 and has been home to offices, storefronts, and furnished one-room apartments ever since.
“It’s been a real privilege to have an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family,” said Steffan Haake, the maintenance Lead at Ward Street Place.
“I’m honored to have been part of a project that helps conserve our town’s rich history and simultaneously help deal with the present housing crisis that troubles so many of our communities.”
In 2011 a budget was developed for the long-term restoration and operation of the building including a 30-year maintenance reserve. In 2014, a $700,000 fundraising campaign, partnered with the community to renovate one residential unit at a time. In 2017 extensive interior renovations were completed including a fire suppression system.
Nelson CARES completed a heritage conservation plan in 2018, which detailed significant upgrades to the building including, a rebuild of the roofline cornice, preservation of original Florentine glass transoms, awning renewal, updated cooling/heating system and new doors and windows.
“For me this has been not only an education in antique materials and design, but an eye-opening discovery that we have here in our community the contractors and the tradespeople capable of taking on some very unique challenges and also capable of reviving some antique skills,” said project manager Bill Lynch.
Nelson CARES says the project was made possible with the support of the Columbia Basin Trust, the technical guidance of Heritage BC experts and skilled tradespeople in Nelson.