The historic plaque shows a photo of the works - the buildings were demolished in the 1950s and the few remaining foundations were quickly overtaken by the undergrowth. Thing grow fast in B.C.
The brickyard history is featured on the Gabriola museum website, and the local Historical and Museum Society offers plenty of photos to help you travel back in BC's built heritage story. The journal of the Society,
|Victoria City Hall 1878-91|
Dave Mason, our guide for a wonderful, if cloudy. walkabout in Victoria mentioned that the Victorian city used brick for many of its civic buildings: Victoria City Hall , the Royal Theatre , the Board of Trade Building, the Law Chambers and the Provincial Courthouse. Without doubt, many of these bricks originated in this foggy cove on Gabriola Island.
|Board of Trade Building 1892|
That being said, just look at the Board of Trade Building, a towering 4 storeys (well it was the 1890s) of red brick, rusticated sandstone, and terra cotta panels.
|eclectic Victorian grandeur|
Does this convey the "historic prominence and power of the Victoria Board of Trade, which had administered local and provincial economic and commercial activities since its beginning as the Victoria Chamber of Commerce in 1863" Yes? I think so. (Quote from HistoricPlaces.ca. Link is above)
A bit of Romanesque swagger, some Chicago School verticality. A statement.
Then there is the Provincial Courthouse at the upper end of Bastion Square. Here's another great quote from Historic Places.ca, to whom I resort when my brain becomes waterlogged after several days of rain and low pressure. Of the 1889/01 Provincial Courthouse, they say: "this castle-like structure remains as an historic embodiment of law, order, stability and justice which have been practiced [sic] at this site since the 1860s."
It's quite extraordinary, really. Rapunzel towers, arched windows, Italianate detailing you'd expect to see in Venice, all on the still pretty rough and tumble west coast.
It's of brick, yes, but covered with stucco imitating stone, the better to intimidate the law-breakers.
|rounded corners of pressed brick|
terra cotta bands and rosettes
|Temple Building (1893) rusticated sandstone base|
The HistoricPlaces description revels in the surface decoration, inspired by American architects Louis Sullivan and H.H.Richardson. Do follow the link. They do it justice.
The Temple Building was one of our guide Dave Mason's favourites as well. He pulled this photo of Malatesta Temple in Rimini, Italy (Wiki link, thanks Dave) from his knapsack, to illustrate the classical source of Maclure's inspiration.
Magnificent Victorian buildings. These bricks are a long way from the beach.