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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Suspected thief drops backpack of stolen goods and runs

Oak Bay Police use K9 for suspicious male

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

COVID-19 cases next to nil on Vancouver Island

Only one COVID-19 patient being treated at Island Health’s hospitals

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Most Read