Bruce Davies is the Curator at Craigdarroch Castle and a very good friend of mine. Bruce has asked us to help spread the word about a very important issue for The Castle Society. Where are the original building plans? Please help by sharing this article with your friends. You never know … one of them might have some important information! Thanks … Gil
Castle Society members, volunteers, and others have been looking for the long-lost building plans for Craigdarroch Castle for decades. All of the logical public repositories have been checked. The descendants of Craigdarroch’s architects, Warren H. Williams and Arthur L. Smith, have also been contacted. They have no idea where the Castle’s plans ended up.
These plans are needed to help The Castle Society conserve and present the Castle. The original purpose of some rooms in the Castle remains a mystery. Furthermore, renovations undertaken in 1919 were so extensive, that evidence of original room configurations, built-in furniture, and the associated service fixtures has been lost. This problem is particularly evident in the old kitchen and pantry areas. The Society desperately wants to recreate these rooms in the museum.
A lengthy article has been written about the search for the Castle plans that is now available on The Castle Society’s website in PDF format. We hope that by making the article widely available to people over the Internet, it will reach a larger audience than just those who read the Society’s paper newsletter.
The article explains where people have looked for the plans so far. It briefly touches on the work of architect Warren H. Williams of Portland, Oregon and directs readers to the principle sources for information on Williams. Importantly, it also explores the life of Craigdarroch’s other architect, Arthur L. Smith, a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Various published sources have referred to him as a mystery, or have simply stated that nothing is known about him. Thanks to members of his family and numerous supportive architectural historians, museum, university and historic site archivists, some of Smith’s remarkable professional story has been revealed for the first time.
Castle Drawing – Craigdarroch Castle Collection – All Rights Reserved
Home Page Feature Image – by Bruce Davies – All Rights Reserved
First Posted at the Craigdarroch Castle Website
Guest Author Bio
Craigdarroch Castle’s Curator, Bruce Davies has spent most of his working life at Craigdarroch Castle in British Columbia. He holds a Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria. He has been active with and served on Boards of various community organizations, including: the Financial Development Association of Vancouver Island; Tourism Victoria; the B.C. Museums Association, and currently is a Director of Music By The Sea, a non-profit organization that holds an international music festival and mentorship program each July in remote Bamfield, Vancouver Island.
From 2005 to 2010, he was President of The Victorian Society in America. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Victorian Society in America is the only non-profit organization of national scope in the United States that is committed to historic preservation, protection, understanding, education, and enjoyment of nineteenth century heritage.
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