The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate on Ward Street.

The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate on Ward Street.

Restoration of Catholic cathedral in Nelson a major undertaking

The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate in Nelson was built in 1899. This building has been fairly well preserved.

The Cathedral of Mary Immaculate in Nelson was built in 1899. This building has been fairly well preserved.

The building exterior is made entirely of wood, except for shaped sheet metal cornices and roof overhangs that run the length and width of the building. The original wooden building facades were milled and painted white to have the appearance of cut white marble.

Due to shortage of funds over the last five to eight years, the building exterior was neglected. At the church entrance porch, there are pillars which are comprised of large posts with shaped wood attached in order to give the appearance of classical columns. These columns were separating at the top from the rest of the building and required experienced tradespersons to make the structural and decorative repairs.

The inside of the church is voluminous and as such the energy consumption is high. Four years ago insulation was blown into the wall cavities in order to save heat. The single pane stained glass windows of which some were broken and cracked were also a large source of heat loss.

This past year, storm window frames were constructed to replicate the exact pattern of the stained glass frames. All the broken stained glass panes were replaced with excellent colour matches. The panes in the storm windows are                                                laminated glass and should have the ability to reduce any future breakage due to vandalism.

The whole exterior of the church was painted in its historical white. This was a huge undertaking as the church was several years overdue for a paint job.

The church building — which is located at 813 Ward Street — now has an appearance that more resembles it’s former glory.