Mount St. Francis - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 30.429 W 117° 16.040
11U E 480646 N 5483870
Quick Description: Though Mount St. Francis Hospital is now vacant, there is local sentiment in favour of its resurrection as housing in one form or another.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/6/2020 11:08:17 AM
Waymark Code: WM13363
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 1

Long Description:
The hospital, constructed in 1947, was built as a residence for ageing and needy pioneers of the Kootenay Boundary area. Mount St. Francis was designed by Architect Ilsa Williams, who became the lead on the project when her husband, W.F. “Bill” Williams passed unexpectedly in 1947. Never actually a "hospital", its original name was Mt. St. Francis Home for the Aged.

It was opened and/or operated by the Sisters of St. Ann who arrived in Victoria in 1858, immediately setting to work opening a school, as well as caring for the sick and orphaned, then establishing St. Ann’s Academy as well as St. Joseph’s Hospital. The Sisters arrived in Nelson in 1947, their first order of business being the founding and construction of this home for the aged. Ultimately, the Sisters of St. Ann opened more than 35 schools and hospitals in the early and remote communities of B.C.

The Sisters of St. Ann ministered at Mount St. Francis Hospital from 1947 to 1996. The Mount was first envisioned in 1946 as a home for old men. The Catholic Diocese of Nelson bought the 37-acre McKim estate, hired an architect, and collected donations. However, when construction bids came in over budget, the project was restructured as an infirmary.

Mount St. Francis opened on July 5, 1950, becoming a public institution in 1966, amalgamating with the local health council, and closing in 1996 when the Mountain Lake facility opened nearby.

The hospital is now in disuse, however it still is a fine example of Art Deco architecture, still popular at the time.
Mount St. Francis
Mount St. Francis is a large, two-story concrete building located on Gordon Road in the upper Fairview area of Nelson, B.C.

Mount St. Francis is important for its social, spiritual and community values, particularly for its representation of community service in Nelson and the surrounding area.

Constructed in 1950, Mount St. Francis is important for the social and spiritual values seen in its past use as a residence for aging and needy pioneers of the Kootenay Boundary area regardless of religious denomination. The ambitious idea originated with Reverend M.M. Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Nelson, and is important for its philanthropic vision to serve the entire Kootenay-Boundary region.

The building is an expression of service by the community of Nelson and the surrounding district, both through its support by the community, and more directly through the original (not in situ) furnishings being acquired through donation from groups such Women’s Institutes, Catholic Women’s Leagues, businesses, and communities such as Nelson, Sheep Creek and Salmo.

The building is important for its design by the Nelson architectural firm of W.F. and Ilsa Williams. Ilsa Williams was Nelson’s first female architect. The facility was built on the McKim Ranch; the original McKim Cottage remains extant.

As a product of the 1950s, Mt. St. Francis is valued for its modern design, as a contemporary building of its period, and as an expression of offering the most up-to-date care, convenience and facilities for the occupants at that time. The steel, concrete and stucco construction materials, recessed horizontal window bands, curved surfaces and flat roof all contribute to the modern feel of the building. Its construction on a slope necessitated the stepping of the building down the hill, while its location in upper Fairview is a reflection of a movement of institutional development into the area. The provision of a parking lot was necessitated by the decision to locate the institution away from the city centre, as well as the growing use of the automobile during this time period. The building is presently (2010) vacant.
From the City of Nelson Heritage Register, Page 85
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

11th Street at Fell Street
Nelson, BC
V1L 3B3

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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