“Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art.” Our community in the Quinte area, not only is home to beautiful landscapes, waterfront, and woodland areas, but also is home to some breathtaking buildings, homes, and other structures that possess perfectly crafted architecture that is kind of hard not to perceive as art. Whether you’re touring in Trenton, Belleville, or Prince Edward County it’s impossible to not catch your eye on the everlasting historical structures we have in our community. Next time you plan a visit to one of these three Quinte landmarks, take a second to appreciate the details and history of these unique works of art.
Starting off in Belleville’s east end, located at 257 Bridge St, east, you will find the Glanmore House Museum. Completed in 1883 by Belleville architect Thomas Hanley, for a wealthy banker and financier J.P.C Phillips, Glanmore house displays a fine example of the Second Empire style which was popular in Canada during the 1870s and 1880s. This architectural style allowed architects to freely add a variety of decorative features to the exterior. Hanley ingeniously combined the characteristics of the Second Empire mansard roof line with molded cornices, multi-colored slate roof tiles, gilded dormer style windows, an asymmetrical façade, bracketed eaves, a large rounded double front door, and a tower protruding past the roof line that’s sure to catch your eye. Inside the home, beautiful woodwork and decorations complement the exterior and perfectly reflect the taste of 19th-century Canada. Today, Glanmore House is designated a National Historic site of Canada for its breathtaking Second Empire architecture.
Next on the tour, 375 Main St, Picton is home to Crystal Palace. Built in 1887 by local building contractor Frank T. Wright, the Crystal Palace, today, is the only original structure of its kind remaining on the continent which was inspired by Sir Joseph Plaxton’s original design in London, England. This historic and rustic facility located in the Picton fairgrounds is perfect for special events. Over the years, Crystal Palace has been extensively restored and now is perfect for hosting weddings, festivals, exhibitions, and Picton’s Fall Fair that takes place every September. You may notice, that windows take up the majority of the surface area on the walls of Crystal Palace allowing for ample natural light. On the inside of the facility, beautifully lit, high ceilings and natural wood floors highlight the historic colour scheme of light yellow and green. This venue is best utilized in the warmer months of May through October as the lack of heating capabilities restricts use during colder months.
Finally, on the southeast islands of Prince Edward County known formally as the False Duck Islands we have False Duck Island Lighthouse located in Milford that stands at 30 feet tall and was constructed in 1829 when a petition was started by various captains and ship owners, hoping for a lighthouse on the False Ducks that would act as an important advantage to navigation. Resting on a concrete base anchored to bedrock, False Duck Lighthouse is an “apple core” lighthouse that has a hexagonal core with an enclosed upper room where the lighthouse lantern sits in a steel frame room. The cantilever design has a stone exterior reinforced with a concrete shaft. In 1905 False duck lighthouse was struck by lightning which nearly destroyed the structure until it was rebuilt in 1965. This piece of PEC history is open for visits on weekends from Victoria Day through to Thanksgiving with the exception of July through Labor Day when it is open daily from 10 am-5 pm.