St. Ann’s Academy

1995 – 1998 • Restoration of St. Ann’s Academy Chapel (1858) and Parlours

Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant, and Robert Patterson, Engineer, were the Restoration Consultants for this project.

St. Ann’s Academy is a 76,000 square foot former Catholic girl’s school and convent. It was built in three phases: The first part was constructed in 1871; a large addition was built in 1886, which is when the 1858 Chapel was moved to the site and attached to the rear of the building. In 1910, a large Mansard roofed addition was built, completing the structure. The Sisters of St. Ann sold the property to the BC Provincial Government and for 20 years it sat empty and neglected, until the provincial government finally decided to restore the building as office space, while keeping the original 1858 Chapel; the 1886 Parlours, Hallway and Staircase and the 1910 auditorium as the historic elements of the building.

Stuart Stark and Robert Patterson researched and directed the restoration of the interior of the 1858 Chapel at St. Ann’s Academy (the oldest religious building in British Columbia) and the interior of the 1886 Interpretive Centre, of two parlours, and the central hallway and staircase. The consultants conducted complete investigation and analysis of the historic finishes and architectural detail. Extensive archival research was undertaken, including consulting hitherto private journals in the Sisters of St. Ann Archives.

Research and development of reconstruction drawings was undertaken for missing building elements such as the main altar and altar rail. Supervision and sourcing of materials and fittings as well as supervision of painters, craftspeople, conservators, restoration of altars, planning of lighting fixtures, and carpets etc. was a key part of the restoration of the interior spaces. Work also included research into exterior finishes such as sanded paint and original paint colours for the building as well as original roof materials and colour, and discovering and having reinstated the gold leaf on the cross of the cupola.

For B.C. Buildings Corporation, Peter Kallos Project Manager; Paul Merrick Architects

Award Winning Project: Louis Award for “Outstanding Restoration Project” from The Hallmark Society 2000