What’s New?

Walking Tour for Jane’s Walks:
Saturday afternoon, May 6, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 11.11.47 AMJane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, the author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” .

The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.

Jane’s Walk is a global network of citizen-led walking tours taking place on May 6th, 7th and 8th. In 2016, over 1,000 Jane’s Walks took place in 212 cities in 36 countries across 6 continents. Over the years, Jane’s Walk has taken place in hundreds of places, and we continue to welcome new cities to our global community every day.

This year marks the sixth year Jane’s Walks have been hosted in the city of Victoria, to make connections between our residents and stimulate conversation about the neighbourhoods we love.

Stuart Stark is leading a ‘Jane’s Walk’ walking Tour on Saturday May 6, 2017 at 2 p.m.

Reservations can be made through www.ProtectOak Bay Heritage.com

Lecture for “The Prospect” Heritage Conservation Area: April 22, 2017

TITLE SLIDE for THE PROSPECT LECTURE FINALReprinting a letter printed in the Oak Bay News of Friday April 28, 2016:

Praise for ‘The Prospect’:
Oak Bay’s proposed Heritage Conservation Area

Stuart Stark led a packed audience on a journey through Oak Bay

Thanks to the Community Association of Oak Bay and Oak Bay’s Heritage Foundation, the public was treated to a fascinating glimpse of Oak Bay’s past at a recent heritage lecture held at the Monterey Centre.

Jointly sponsored by the association and the foundation and presented by heritage specialist and author Stuart Stark, the audience learned about a part of Oak Bay’s past through the unique history of “The Prospect.” To better protect its future, you may recall that the Prospect Place neighbourhood is currently proposed as Oak Bay’s first Heritage Conservation Area.

Using vintage photos, maps and stories, Stuart Stark led a packed audience on a journey through Oak Bay that began in the nineteenth century. In addition to Mr. Stark’s presentation, political scientist and Prospect Place neighbourhood spokesperson and community leader Dr. Michael Prince, gave a brief summary of the current status of the residents’ proposal to designate the neighbourhood a Heritage Conservation Area. If approved by Mayor and Council, this would be a first for Oak Bay and a possible model for future heritage conservation elsewhere in the municipality.

On behalf of the Heritage Commission, I want to acknowledge the efforts of both the community association and the foundation, to help promote Oak Bay’s heritage and history and highlight the ongoing work of the Prospect Place neighbourhood’s heritage project, one that Dr. Prince points out reflects the best of community-building.

Cairine Green
Oak Bay Heritage Commission

Walking Tours in Oak Bay: February 2017

20170218-DSC04997 copyAt the invitation of a neighbourhood group called Protect Oak Bay Heritage, Stuart Stark has led two walking tours in February of 2017. Oak Bay has a remarkable neighbourhood – still largely intact – that started in 1898 with the joint ownership of two architects: Francis M. Rattenbury; and John G. Tiarks. The two men purchased fifteen waterfront acres with the intention of making it into an exclusive subdivision, stepping up the slope of the property, and filled with architect-designed homes, by themselves, and other prominent architects of Victoria.

Significant residents lived and visited here, including Sir Charles Tupper, who visited his son’s home called Annandale, in December of 1899, staying for Christmas while on a speaking tour of western Canada. Tupper was Prime Minister of Canada in 1896, and a Father of Confederation in 1867. Any connection to the Confederation of Canada is rare in the West, and raises the historic importance of the neighbourhood.

The two-hour tours explored three streets, discovered carriage houses, learned about urban planning, and current and lost historic architecture, and heard some century-old gossip of life, intrigue, loves and even murder.

The neighbourhood is being promoted by the residents as a potential Heritage Conservation Area, recognizing the concentration of Heritage Designated Houses in the compact area: eleven homes are protected by law, out of thirty in the entire municipality.

The first tour was over-subscribed, and a waiting list was taken. A second tour was held a week later, with participants enjoying their walk, and learning more about the importance of the district. A follow-up lecture will be presented to the Oak Bay Community Association in late April of 2017. (date to be announced)

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A Heritage Restoration Project

was featured on the cover and in an extensive article has been printed in the Fall 2016 issue of Capital Home.

wark-street-in-capital-home-magazine-fall-2016Stuart Stark was the Heritage Consultant on the project, and contributed to the exterior colours; the dining room colours and woodwork; and the overall kitchen redesign.  The owners, Mike Winstone and Daphne Goode, had been diligently working for some years at making the house into suites – while keeping the main floor for their own home – without altering its original 1911 appearance.

A rare photograph of the house from the winter of 1916 gave clues as to the original colours and placement.

burlap-stencil-wp-greenThe Dining Room wallpaper is a c1908 American design called ‘Burlap Stencil’, from Charles Rupert Designs (www.Charles RupertDesigns.com) It is used as a wainscot paper, where actual coloured ‘burlap’ (actually linen union) had once been used.

The new  kitchen was fitted into the original butler’s pantry, maximizing traditional cupboard designs to the ceiling, while matching the stain and varnish finish to look like the well-maintained original woodwork finishes in the rest of the house.

The finished project is truly a gift to the neighbourhood. Other people may have considered redeveloping the property, but these owners were intent on keeping the historic house, and updating it, ensuring that it would have a useful, comfortable life into the future.

Heritage PosterStuart Stark will be presenting a repeat lecture:

Victoria: City of (lost) Gardens

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at 7pm
Windsor Park Pavilion

This is the fourth time that this lecture will be presented.
It has been sold out previously.

The lecture covers the first plant nurseries in British Columbia; the earliest gardeners in Victoria, B.C.; the introduction of various plants from England; and some early lost gardens – both private and public. The importance of greenhouses and local seedsmen is highlighted.  The plant history is wrapped up with the social needs and importance of gardens in the lives of early Victorians. The illustrated lecture is 90 minutes long.

Admission is by donation to the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation

Roscoe Family Travels Title Page? from 1878 San Francisco Bird's Eye


Travel with the Roscoes: Amazing Journeys

November 19, 2015. 7:30pm $10. each
Ross Bay Villa, 1490 Fairfield Road, Victoria BC.

The first family that lived at Ross Bay Villa travelled extensively during the thirteen years they lived in the now-restored home.

Francis J. Roscoe, Member of Parliament for Victoria from 1874-1878, and his family, made some amazing journeys between 1861 and 1879. They travelled between England and Victoria, British Columbia. First across Panama, by the new Panama Railroad, and later across the United States by the new transcontinental railroad, via San Francisco and New York. They travelled on the latest ships and stayed in the newest hotels.

Hear about the hardships of the journeys, and the sights they saw en route, including his time in Ottawa as a member of government.

Stuart Stark will be your tour guide.

Lecture space is limited. Reservations are required.
Please reserve on the Ross Bay Villa website at: www.RossBayVilla.org

Stuart Stark to teach Course at the University of Victoria – Summer 2014

HA 489E Period Rooms: Research, Planning and Presentation,
The Cultural Resource Management Program
University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
July 28- Aug 2, 2014

Instructor: Stuart Stark
HA489E (1.5 units)

ross-bay-drawing-roomNote: Though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course. Please contact the Program Coordinator, Tusa Shea, directly at crmcoord@uvic.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

July 28- Aug 2, 2014; on-campus offering

Instructor: Stuart Stark

Creating period rooms in museums and historic sites is an effective way to show artifacts in context, while telling a back-story of the people that would have lived in the rooms or used the artifacts on exhibit. Getting period rooms ‘right’ requires both documentary research, and, in a heritage site, careful  — almost forensic — onsite research to present the history of the place. This course will delve into research techniques, both archival and onsite; the importance of a back-story; the ethics and accuracy of presentation; appropriate wallpapers, fabrics and artifacts; and how to achieve a period room that looks inevitable.

This course will enhance your ability to:

  • Use a variety of research techniques to document period styles specific to your location
  • Research and document onsite history with careful attention to site use and back-story
  • Understand ethical issues involved in restoration and accuracy of presentation
  • Plan your restoration and conservation strategies
  • Locate and choose appropriate materials and artifacts

Instructor: Since 1984, Stuart Stark has worked as a Heritage Consultant specializing in the restoration of historic buildings.  He has researched and written planning reports for restoration projects as well as directing and/or executing the restoration of important sites such as Emily Carr House; St. Ann’s Academy; Point Ellice House; Ross Bay Villa; and Dundurn Castle. He has worked in Museums and historic sites and brings a museum conservation sensibility to his work. He holds degrees in both Fine Arts and Architecture and has lectured and presented workshops across British Columbia. In 2002 he was awarded the British Columbia Heritage Award for “his commitment to the highest standards of project research, planning and restoration.” His professional website is at: http://heritageconsultants.ca/

Registration Options: Non-credit and credit registration available. Please note that credit participants must be admissable to UVic.

Registration Deadline: June 28, 2014, late registrations accepted if space permits.

Fee:  $705.36 CAD (includes a CAD $75.00 Program Fee). A $100 CAD registration deposit isrequired by the registration deadline to hold a seat in the course. The $75.00 Program Fee is due by the registration deadline in order for you to receive your materials and readings package. The remaining tuition will be due by the first day of class on July 28, 2014. UVSS Fees will also be assessed to credit students only. Please refer to our registration and withdrawal policies.

Note: fees may be subject to a 2% tuition increase in May 2014.

Window Assessment Report
Helmcken House, Victoria, B.C.

This report researched all of the windows in the second-oldest house in British Columbia. The windows were assessed as to current condition, changes over the years, whether they had been replaced in the past, and appropriate restoration techniques to be used for their preservation.

The task was made more difficult by the lack of documentation on changes and work that had been done in the past, as well as taking into account the three phases of construction in the building 1852. 1856 and 1883.  Additionally, the house had been in public hands since 1949, and early work on the house, though well-intentioned, was sometimes at odds with long term preservation goals.

The thirty windows were individually photographed, assessed and recorded to provide a base line of information for future preservation and restoration work. Recommendations were made as to both general and specific techniques of restoration and preservation for the windows.

For the Royal British Columbia Museum

Report on the Interior Restoration and Furnishing of the Entrance Hall
Dundurn National Historic Site • Hamilton Ontario, Canada

This significant historic site, built in 1835 and later, was restored in 1967 for Canada’s Centennial.  The Entrance Hall is the first room to be restored in a project to gradually restore and refurnish the rooms of the house.  Work included onsite research to determine the original painted “marble block” decoration of the walls; recommend light fixtures and furnishings; and appropriate paint colours for the Restoration Period of 1856. A 139 page report was written, with elevation drawings recording findings from the onsite investigations, and drawings of the projected layouts of the completed Marble Block decoration.

For: Dundurn National Historic Site and the City of Hamilton

Stuart Stark presents an illustrated lecture for Oak Bay Heritage:
Bungalow Boom:
Homes from 1900 to 1914

This lecture will explore the development of the California Bungalow, and its popularity during the years before the first World War.  Background, spread of influence and some of the many particular developments and design eccentricities of the style will be discussed.

When: Wednesday November 17, 2010
Windsor Park Pavilion, Windsor Road, Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C.