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

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

Saanich intersections rank as Island’s three worst

Intersection of Admirals Road, McKenzie Avenue, and the Trans-Canada Highway had the most crashes

New tutorial ‘Whales in our Waters’ launched by BC Ferries

A new tutorial has been launched for mariners and the general public about whales in the Salish Sea

Head-on collision on Prospect Lake Road shuts down road

Prospect Lake Road reopened to traffic at approximately 4:15 a.m. Tuesday

Saanich firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Most Read