The interior of St. Saviour's Anglican Church in Nelson. It is one of ten West Kootenay/Boundary nominees in the Architecture Foundation of BC's Best Buildings of BC contest.

Kootenay landmarks vie for BC’s Best Building

Ten West Kootenay/Boundary buildings are in the running in the Architecture Foundation of BC’s 100 Best Buildings contest.

Ten West Kootenay/Boundary buildings are in the running in the Architecture Foundation of BC’s 100 Best Buildings contest.

The foundation says the contest’s purpose is to “recognize the impact and influence that buildings have had over the past 100 years.”

The nomination period closed August 4, and now online voting is taking place. You’re allowed to cast one vote for each of four regions — Vancouver Mainland/South Coast, BC Interior, Islands, and Northern BC.

Nominees could be of any age, purpose, or material.

At the end of the voting on September 28, the top 25 buildings in each region will be submitted to a judging panel, who will choose the top three from each region. The winning buildings will receive award plaques.

Local buildings in the running are:

• The Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, built as an hotel in 1897, converted into an internment centre for Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, and nearly demolished in the 1970s before a group saw its inherent potential, bought and began restoring the building. Today it houses a museum, gallery, performance space, and artist studios.

• Kootenay Lake Village glass house near Procter (pictured at left), which began life as a pre-fab greenhouse, which residents erected in a barn-raiser weekend. It includes a pop-up kitchen, bar, living-room style seating, rugs and plants to “create a cozy nurturing ambience for us to gather and enjoy the changing seams and skies without opaque structure separating us from the outdoors.”

• St. Saviour’s Anglican Cathedral in Nelson, built in 1899. This building was nominated by two people separately, one of whom wrote: “I love this building for its spirituality, as evidenced by the beautiful stone construction, lofty ceilings, stained glass windows, and woodwork detail as well as timeless music from the stunning pipe organ inside.”

• Nelson’s old Scandinavian Church, built in 1933 and later used as a Mexican restaurant and performance space. Now it’s home to Kevin Smith’s dentist office and “has seen some huge improvements both inside and out which have honoured the building it is.”

• Gerick’s Cycle and Ski in Nelson. “It has great character and an awesome paint job,” says the nomination. It was recognized as Nelson’s heritage building of the year a few years ago.

• The distinctive Nelson Chrysler building. The nomination says the car dealership’s owners have “obviously put a lot of care and attention into maintaining its original nature.”

Other local buildings in the mix include the Rossland Miners Union Hall, built in 1898; the Rossland courthouse, built in 1900; the Gerick Cycle and Sports building in Trail (“Beautiful? Eye of the beholder. But Trail is a striking place and this somehow fits.”); the old schoolhouse outside Fruitvale; and Greenwood city hall.

To vote, go to architecturefoundationbc.ca/best-buildings-entries-for-voting.

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