You may not know this but Victoria Row was not always the eclectic Victoria Row that it is today. It had another life in another time – it was The Brown Block and it has its own story.
John George Hamilton Brown Jr. was the original visionary of Victoria Row, but it was never his intention for it to be anything other than the Brown Block. Let me tell you a story of architect, love of land and the ghosts of 132 Richmond Street.
The British Warehouse was a dry goods store operated by John Brown Senior until it was destroyed in the fire of 1884. That tragedy quickly turned to an opportunity for John Brown Jr. – he wasted no time in buying up the property surrounding the burned out lot. Prominent local architects, Phillips and Chappell were hired to design the Italianate Commercial style buildings. Unlike the Cameron Block next door to the Brown Block, the three sections of Brown Block were not identical in their construction.