Description of Historic Place
Situated on the north side of Pekisko Creek, the Abattoir at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, also known as Building 27, is a simple, rectangular, light frame structure with a gable roof and board and batten walls. The roof is covered with milled cedar shingles. The structural system is exposed, and features diagonal braces nailed across studs on the interior walls. The structure rests on a shallow foundation of small stones lying on the ground. Approximately four-fifths of the floor is covered with heavy planks, while the remaining is an earth floor. Vents with wooden louvers are located high in both gable ends. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Abattoir is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
The Bar U Ranch complex is one of the best examples of the development of the ranching industry in Alberta and its importance in the development of Canada. The Abattoir is associated with this development as the building fulfilled the slaughterhouse requirements of the Bar U Ranch as well as those of the immediate vicinity, and was suitable for the ranch’s diverse livestock. Its mere existence is an impressive testimony to the success and stature of the Bar U Ranch, as it was constructed at a time when most farms and ranches practiced slaughtering out-of-doors using improvised equipment. The Abattoir is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920’s, has been designated a person of national significance.
The Abattoir is a very good example of the product of a highly function-oriented design and has a strong aesthetic impact due to its scale, massing and patina. Its highly specialized function is reflected in many features of its design.
The Abattoir is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect and reinforces the present visual character of the Bar U Ranch. It is located in a cottonwood grove on the north side of Pekisko Creek, mid-way between two piggeries within the working area of the complex. It maintains a physical and functional relationship to its immediate setting and surrounding trees that provide a screened view of the building.
Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 92-017;Abattoir (Building 27), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.
The character defining elements of the Abattoir should be respected.
Its very good simple, highly specialized function-oriented design, strong aesthetic impact due to its small scale, massing and patina, construction techniques and materials as manifested in:
-its simple rectangular, light frame structure;
-its gable roof and cladding;
-its exposed structural system;
-its board and batten walls;
-its shallow foundation of small stones;
-the deliberate slope in floor;
-its vents with wooden louvers;
-its heavy planks and earth floor;
-aspects of design relating to the function of the building;
The manner in which the Abattoir, as part of a cohesive complex of buildings, reinforces the visual character of the Bar U Ranch, through its highly function-oriented design, strong aesthetic impact and its physical and functional relationship to its immediate setting.