Gordon Nelson’s 1209 Jervis Street apartment building was built in 1910 and designed by Arthur J. Bird. Mr. Bird was a famous architect who actually served as the City of Vancouver’s chief architect and inspector for several years. He also introduced masonry construction to western Canada with 1209 Jervis Street.
1209 Jervis Street was originally called the John A. Seabold Apartment Building and is rumored to have served as the long-term stay hotel for the prestigious Hotel Vancouver. Read the complete Statement of Historical Significance report prepared by Jim Lehto, former City of Vancouver planner.
More recently the apartment building also goes by the name Blenheim Court. It is located in Vancouver’s West End district.
In March 2008, Gordon Nelson Inc. bought the building, which was run down and in need of renovation and restoration.
Restoration & Renovation
Nelson Investments completed a full-scale restoration and renovation of all units as well as all interior common areas of this one of a kind 1910 heritage B designation apartment building. The renovation team included the award winning Stuart Howard Architects and Sublime Interior Design.
The building benefits from many stunning heritage features such as beautiful molding and trim, dramatic high ceilings, light wells, exposed brick, expansive hallways and original cast iron claw foot bathtubs.
The exterior boasts ornate architectural features with its bay windows, soffits, cornices and granite-clad foundation.
The Davie Street facing soffits of the building were completely replaced and restored in early 2009. In the spring of 2009 the brick exterior was cleaned and the soffits and bay windows repaired and repainted.
Interior common area highlights include extensive plaster restoration, new energy efficient lights and environmentally friendly designer carpet tiles along with the restoration of the grand entrance stair case hand railings. All units have new kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel sinks and faucets, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances (including the addition of a 24″ dishwasher), Italian porcelain tiles on the floor, Italian bianco carrera marble subway tiles on the back splash and new lighting.
The living space has had the original edge grain Douglas Fir hardwood floors refinished and stained chocolate brown, exposed brick walls preserved, new shoe and crown molding, new hardware on all doors, new modern lighting, new 2″ venetian blinds and Benjamin Moore paint. The bathroom walls were refinished with subway tiles and Benjamin Moore paint, the original 6′ claw foot bathtubs were re-glazed and repainted, heritage plumbing fixtures added, vanity mirror cabinets added, new crown molding, Italian porcelain tiles on the floor and ultra low flow showerheads and toilets installed.
The entire electrical system has been replaced and BC Hydro service upgraded to current building code and electrical standards. The old, inefficient and insufficient steam condensing boilers and radiators were decommissioned. All units have also received hard-wired smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and state-of-the-art European style electric convection heaters. Each unit’s electricity is now individually metered to promote disciplined consumption of energy.
The entire plumbing system has also been replaced with a combination of cooper and Wirsbo pipes and a new pressure relief valve system installed. In addition, new Maytag front-loading high efficiency washers and dryers were added in the basement.
Overall, the restoration and renovation respected the unique heritage of the building while adding modern conveniences to create a sophisticated urban experience.
The restoration project commenced in January 2008 and was completed in November 2008.