Cathedral of Mary Immaculate - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.344 W 117° 17.474
11U E 478907 N 5481866
Quick Description: At 813 Ward Street, this Roman Classical Cathedral is just three blocks uphill, above downtown Nelson.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 3/24/2014 5:53:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMKDB5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 2

Long Description:
Built between 1898 and 1899, the building was a Roman Catholic Church until the creation of the Diocese of Nelson in 1936, at which time it attained Cathedral status. With its six two storey columns across the front and other features it is a wonderful example of Roman Classic architecture. A very interesting and amazing feature of this cathedral is the fact that it is constructed entirely of wood, made to appear as masonry. Its foundation and cornerstone, however, are masonry.

Number 25 on the City of Nelson's 2011 Heritage Register, this Cathedral was awarded the City of Nelson's "Heritage Building of the Year" award in 1985, the sixth recipient of this award.

The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate is a large, white, rectangular structure fronted with classical columns on the northeast corner of Ward and Mill streets in the Uphill residential neighbourhood of Nelson, B.C.

The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate is important for its aesthetic, historical and spiritual values, particularly for its architectural design.

Constructed in 1898-1899 from a design by local architect George D. Curtis, the building is valued for its unique classical architecture, adopted during the second half of the 19th century as the preferred expression for Catholic churches. The landmark church building is a good example of Roman Classicism, seen in its Ionic portico of six columns, pediment and solid rectangular massing. The building is valued for its creative use of materials, as the superstructure is built entirely of wood, a common local building material, finished to resemble masonry as befitting a building of this stature. Granite for the high foundation was quarried on site.

The response to the sloping grade of Ward Street permitted the building to be raised above the level of the street on its high granite foundation, giving it the height and prominence of early temples and elevating the building to landmark status within its neighbourhood context.

Located with many other churches in the lower reaches of the residential streets of the Uphill neighbourhood, the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate is a valuable contributor to the physical transition between the large commercial buildings of the commercial core and the residential character of the Uphill neighbourhood.

The building is important for its connection to architect George D. Curtis, who set up his practice in Nelson in 1897 and was responsible for a number of Nelson’s important buildings including Riesterer’s Brewery, St. Joseph School and Convent, St. Saviour’s Anglican Church and a number of private residences.

The building is valued for its continued use as a place of worship since its construction more than a century ago, becoming a cathedral in 1936 when the Diocese of Nelson was created. It has recognized value to the community, including receiving Nelson’s Heritage Building of the Year award for 1985.

Character Defining Elements
¶ Location in the lower part of the Uphill neighbourhood
¶ Prominent siting on a high granite foundation
¶ Landmark on a visible corner lot with boulevard trees
¶ Classical form, large scale and rectangular massing
¶ Formal layout
¶ Front facade with six columns, entablature and pediment
¶ Tall rectangular windows with pediments
¶ Wood construction and local granite foundation
¶ Interior features including four Ionic columns, statues, coloured glass windows, balcony, wooden pews, baroque tunnel vault, original bell donated by Reverend Altoff, bell tower
From the Nelson Heritage Register

Award Collection:
1985 - Heritage Building of the Year -

Number of award plaques:: 1

Sites web address: [Web Link]

Type of awarded site: Single building

Other type. Please explain: Not listed

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