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Phase one to fix essential rotting elements at Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace was built in 1890 as the exhibition hall for the agricultural fair. Its design is from Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace built in 1851 in London, England for the Great Exhibition.

Restoration of the cupola, footing and supports on the Crystal Palace is the first of a four-stage project to revitalize the historic building located at Picton’s fairgrounds.

Two tenders were received for phase one work – the lowest from Knudsen Construction at $123,123 is being recommended to council Tuesday night. (UPDATE: Approved)

In 2019 a detailed condition assessment of the Crystal Palace and Blue Bird buildings by Sky-High Historical Restoration and Consulting found significant rot throughout the buildings. In particular, the lower half of the building was recommended to be removed and replaced before being painted. A large number of window frames are also rotting and require rebuilding or full replacement.

In consultation with the County’s Heritage Advisory Committee, a four-phase revitalization plan was developed – to immediately address critical concerns, followed by aesthetics. The remaining three phases of the plan are to be brought to be presented in a multi-year plan as part of the 2022 budget.

The 135-year-old Crystal Palace is the County’s most sought-after venue rental, generating an average of $35,000 to $40,000 in revenue in a non-pandemic year.

Picton Fair, 1904 with the Crystal Palace in the background. – Photo PEC Archives

The Crystal Palace was constructed in 1890 as the exhibition hall for the agricultural fair. Its design is derived from Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, built in 1851 in London, England for the Great Exhibition. Picton’s version has a wooden structure rather than cast iron and plate glass, and is a much smaller building.

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  1. Mike Rodgers says:

    With thanks to former administrator Don Ward this building is still with us. Thanks Don for your fight to have it restored years ago.

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