A contractor who was hired to deconstruct the old Crystal Garden exhibit is now selling one of the items he removed: an ornate bridge.
Jason Adams, the founder of reFUSE Resource Recovery, says he was hired in 2007 to remove the exhibit and was persuaded to save many items by staff on site.
“We started kind of just taking away the branches and cleaning up all the animal bedding as part of our composting business,” Adams said in an interview with Victoria Buzz.
“The people on the scene said, ‘hey can you take these plants’ and then it just kind of kept growing and growing into the scope of that, so that we ended up taking the whole exhibit down to the empty swimming pool.”
The 60-foot metal and cedar bridge was a particular challenge for Adams and his crew. He says that they could have simply demolished it, but he chose to hire some metal fabricators to come in and take it apart for reassembly at a later date.
Adams initially planned to use the bridge on a horse farm he owns in Central Saanich, spanning a large pond on the property.
Other items from the deconstruction of Crystal Garden made their way onto the farm too.
“As far as stuff that people will recognize, we used a lot of the glass that used to be the whole border for the butterfly exhibit up on the second floor,” Adams said.
“We’ve made a viewing area in our barn out of that. I’ve got the big laminate wooden benches that used to circle the fountain where the flamingos hung out.”
Repurposing items and moving to zero waste is a passion of Adams, who sold reFUSE in 2015.
Now though, he is selling his horse farm, and the bridge, which has remained uninstalled, is going up for sale.
The listing for the bridge is now live on Facebook, and has already attracted a great deal of attention. Some users have suggested that the bridge could find a good home at Butchart Gardens.
Adams has high hopes that a buyer will come forward, particularly one who will see it as a piece of Victoria’s history.
“I’ve always in the back of my mind hoped that something would happen with the City of Victoria and they would buy it, repurpose it into some new thing whether it was when they redid the Crystal Pool or whatever,” he said.
“The bridge is beautiful. It would cost you a fortune to undertake to have something this ornate built these days. I definitely want it to have a happy ending.”
Adams is asking for $45,000 or best offer and says he is open to trades. With the pending sale of his farm, he is hoping to have the bridge sold by April 30th.