Our 2013 34th annual homes tour included two gorgeous mansions: the former dance academy, 1906 Kirk House, at 3rd Street & 3rd Avenueone of the most ambitious home restorations ever undertaken in New Westminster; and Nelson’s Folly –  the 1913 Nels Nelson ‘grand dame’ of Queen’s Avenue which displays a refreshed exterior, completed in 2012.

D3T_0811 PF3_5456


Kirk House at 3rd & 3rdNWHPS - Kirk House Restoration - staircase   photo: Paul Fuoco

Kirk House was missing its main staircase (removed for an office); several interior walls; and pocket doors (opened up to accommodate a dance floor in the house’s previous incarnation).  New owners Jennifer Crews and Lee Cowley made a huge effort to maintain or replicate original details wherever possible.


 NWHPS - Kirk House interior restoration photo Paul Fuoco





The missing staircase was a challenge. With no original pictures to guide reconstruction, Geoff Lillico – the expert finishing carpenter, joiner and furniture maker who handled much of the woodwork in the house – reproduced the staircase, using scant clues and the still-intact upstairs landing.

 NWHPS - Kirk House Restoration exterior  photo:  Paul Fuoco






Restoration construction began in 2009. The garage (facing 3rd Avenue) previews the blue vinyl siding that now clads the entire 7,000 square foot residence.


Nelson’s Folly at Queens Avenue & 2nd Street

The first owner of this eponymous elegant estate was Westminster Brewery owner, Nels Nelson. Situated on a large, beautifully landscaped corner lot, the design of the house features many elements which are typical of the Prairie style, including a low pitched, hipped roof with wide overhanging eaves for a strong horizontal emphasis. The grouped, classical column porch supports frame a graceful entry.

NWHPS - Field House "Nelson's Folly"  sign   photo: Paul Fuoco
Decorative house plaque for the Nels Nelson house
NWHPS - Field House porch column detail  photo Paul Fuoco
Grouped classical column supports grace the porch

Other homes in the 13-venue Homes Tour included an amazing mid-century modern home in Massey Heights and a lovingly restored 1880s cottage.