Author Stuart Stark has released a revised and expanded second edition of his award-winning book The B.C. Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

New photos unseen for 100 years lead to second edition of award-winning book

Local author adds new historical gems to book on ‘Crystal Palace’

On the heels of this year’s Hallmark Heritage Society Awards in which he won a Communications Award for his book The BC Agricultural Society Exhibition Building, Stuart Stark has released a revised and expanded second edition.

Since the run of the first edition last year, and with the press and awareness that stemmed from the heritage award, Stark has been contacted by others that have stories and photos of the iconic Exhibition Building at Willows, known as the “Crystal Palace.” The massive, all-wood structure was built in 1891 and destroyed in a spectacular fire on Boxing Day 1907.

RELATED: Exceptional accolades for Oak Bay at this year’s Hallmark Awards

The book recounts the social and architectural history of the building and grand exhibitions, weaving historical tales of horse races and agricultural dreams.

The “Crystal Palace” boasted over 26,000 square feet of space on the main floor and 10,000 in the galleries above, available for exhibits of the latest and greatest goods.

People came forward to Stark with photographs from their private collections, which, coupled with new research, resulted in the book being revised and expanded with 30 new pages of text and photographs.

Some of the new photographs have not been seen for over 100 years – including a rare panorama of the interior from 1901, photographs of the exhibits and a stereoscope view taken from the tower of the building.

RELATED: Lost Victoria: Story of the Crystal Palace

The Exhibition Building was built in the heart of Oak Bay and many residents today live within the old Exhibition grounds, the sixty-six acres of land that surround Carnarvon Park along Eastdowne Road.

Author Stuart Stark is an award-winning Heritage Consultant who has worked on the preservation and restoration of many of British Columbia’s iconic heritage buildings. He lectures on historical topics and his books.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Saanich changes incentives for housing developments

Changes shift incentives for some developments from development cost charges to building permit fees

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Most Read