Cartolina wins Nelson’s inaugural heritage award

Fiona Richards and Douglas Jones won the award for restoring their building at 625 Baker.

Fiona Richards and Douglas Jones of Cartolina

Fiona Richards and Douglas Jones of Cartolina

Nelson’s first annual $1,000 heritage award has gone to Fiona Richards and Douglas Jones, the owners of Cartolina on Baker Street. In 2014 they discovered, preserved and enhanced the heritage characteristics of their building at 652 Baker, formerly the home of King’s Restaurant.

“We have lived in Nelson a long time, and it is important to us that we take care of the history of Nelson,” Richards told the crowd on Monday at the city’s annual reception where the prize was presented. “For us as business owners in Nelson we have realized it is great for business. It is beneficial to the businesses on Baker Street to take care of the old buildings and promote them.”

Cartolina before and after (Photo contributed)

The award was presented by Greg Nesteroff, a member of the heritage working group, a subcommittee of the city’s Cultural Development Committee. He explained the building was part of the old Tremont Hotel, and that until recently it was one of the few heritage buildings in Nelson that had never seen any interior renovation.

“The couple behind it are no strangers to heritage restoration, having tackled other projects before, but this was their most ambitious work,” Nesteroff said. “They not only revitalized a 114-year-old building, but documented every step of the way, sharing online and in their store the many discoveries they made as they literally peeled back the layers on the building.”

The front of the building restored. Photo contributed.

Nesteroff then read two excerpts from the several nominations the recipients received:

“The transformation of 652 Baker St. is not only remarkable and award-worthy because of the building’s revitalization but it is helping to educate visitors to the store about Nelson’s rich history and market our city as a heritage destination.”

A second person wrote:

“I watched the restoration unfold day by day through Instagram pictures and soon a number of surprises that the building had been keeping behind the 1960s restaurant decor were revealed. The first was the wonderful original brick walls and wood floors ready to be polished up. Then came the showstopper, a breathtaking pressed tin ceiling. With a careful eye and a willingness to get it just right, great lengths were taken to preserve and restore the grandeur of the building.”

In a news release, the chair of the cultural development committee, Stephanie Fischer, wrote: “Fiona and Doug’s thoughtful and careful restoration preserves, honours, and celebrates this heritage building, and by documenting their process from start to finish, they have shared their journey with us all.”

Restoration work in progress. Photo contributed.