Then & Now...
The original structure was built in 1906 by a shipwright as a home for his family. It boasted high exterior gables trimmed with decorative gingerbread, and inside. ten foot high coffered fir tongue and groove ceilings. At different times during it’s life this house became the manse of the St. John’s Anglican Church, and later a well-established music school.
Transforming a house built 110 years ago into an award winning restaurant began as a family labour of love starting with an eight month commercial rezoning process including heritage designation that resulted in an AWMAC Award of Excellence in 2013 for CHF Contracting, owned by Claus Flemming, Andrea’s Father.
Historical Photo Courtesy of Karolyn Sherman.
Beginning the renovation, on a sunny May 20, 2012, after celebrating with a bottle of bubbly the reality of the challenges presented themselves, as it was soon recognized that this home was built with love. It became a relation with the spirit and respect of the original builder Mr. Daniel Robertson Hattie. A humble appreciation for the skilled craftsmanship inspired the preservation of the classic features, from old growth fir floors to the original millwork and meticulous lath and plaster, right down to the hand made nails! Peeling away and removing the various visible layers of home design fashion over the past century revealed a classic beauty. In keeping with the Heritage designation requirements a dedicated and visionary team of sub trades worked side by side through some trying and complex situations, each time resulting in a positive outcome.
Keeping as many elements as possible by reusing, salvaging and refurbishing the original wood, it allowed these materials to be re-used in fabricating the bar and reception podium, not to forget to mention in repairing the walls after seismic upgrades. Retaining the clear edge grain fir on walls, trim, floors and the exterior, while building a "modern" functioning commercial space is a credit to Andrea's keen passion for design and detail.
On November 7, 2012 the dust and debris gone, Andrea put on a new hat and with her eager Restaurant team opened the doors of Hudson's on First to the public.