Central School - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 29.346 W 117° 17.558
11U E 478806 N 5481870
Quick Description: This 112 year old red brick school is unique in that it contains North America's first enclosed fire escape.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/9/2020 4:08:22 PM
Waymark Code: WM133V3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
Originally built with three storeys, this school was designed by renowned local architect Alexander Carrie. Given that this is 2020 and it was built in 1908, 112 years ago, this must have been one well built school, as it has been in continuous use to this day. It has, over the years, had a couple of additions, a subtraction (the third storey), and numerous renovations.

The cornerstone for the school was laid by the local Masons on September 7, 1908. A grand ceremony was staged in conjunction with the laying of the corner stone, with a large crowd in attendance. A lengthy front page article was published by the Nelson Daily News on the following day, September 8, 1908.
Central School
The Central School, originally three stories, is a two-storey, rectangular, flat-roofed brick building on Stanley Street in Nelson, B.C.

The heritage value of Nelson’s Central School is found in its design and its historical and cultural associations.

Constructed in 1908 on a site previously occupied by an earlier wooden school, the Central School is important for its ability to tell the story of Nelson’s development. Its construction reflects the increasing population of Nelson at that time, particularly families, and the need to develop new school facilities to accommodate the student population.

The school is significant for being designed by Alexander Carrie, a prominent and prolific local architect. At the time of its construction it was considered one of the most imposing and massive structures in the city, in a phase of Nelson’s history in which it was becoming an important cultural and service centre in the province. The original school had a third storey, an elaborate structure that housed a large assembly room. A gymnasium was added on the Ward Street side of the school after the third storey was removed. The retention of part of the earlier building represents an adaptive reuse of an existing school building and the ability of the school to reveal the phases and types of its construction.

Of masonry and concrete construction, the school had the advantage of containing all the modern conveniences of the time. It was the office of the city’s first School Medical Health Officer, Dr. Isabella Arthur, MD, appointed in 1910. The fire escape was the first of its kind in North America, being enclosed within the structure.

The original building was designed in the English Queen Anne style and despite being extensively renovated, the building still retains and imposing presence with its rectangular massing, window pattern and design, arched entryway and masonry construction.
From the City of Nelson Heritage Register, Page 102
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

808 Stanley Street
Nelson, BC
V1L 1N7

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to a Waymark in this category at least one photo of the property, taken by the visitor, must be included with the visit, as well any comments they have concerning either their visit or the site itself. Suggested inclusions are: what you like about the site, its history, any deviations from the description in the heritage listing noted by the visitor, and the overall state of repair of the site.
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