Home / Accueil

Bunkhouse and Cookhouse

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

General view of the Bunkhouse and Cookhouse, showing the south and east façades, 1992.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, (A & E Services--CPS, WRO), 1992.
Corner View
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

Bunkhouse and Cookhouse
Building 11
Bâtiment 11

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, otherwise known as Building No. 11, consists of a gable-roofed, symmetrical two-storey main section oriented parallel to an access lane, with a large one-storey shed-roofed rear extension running across the full width of the building. The rear walls retain the original multi-pane windows. The overall impression of the massing is a modified saltbox form. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is adjacent to the Saddle Horse Barn and the Blacksmith Shop, a cohesive group on a flat grassy area in the Alberta rangelands. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is one of the best examples of the national theme of the development of ranching in Alberta, and of its importance in the development of Canada. Its purpose was as a cookhouse and bunkhouse and as the main cooking and eating facility for ranch hands. Its size is indicative of the scale of operations and the Bar U Ranch’s status as a large-scale ranching operation. It was built in response to the rapid growth of horse and cattle operations at the ranch under George Lane’s management. George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman, was hired at Bar U as ranch foreman in 1884 and ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 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-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance.

Architectural value:
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is a very good example of an agricultural building used at ranches in the prairies. The building is a good example of early 1900s building practices at the Bar U and in the region. The structure incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship. Its value lies in its functional design and form, simple massing, common construction details, exterior finish, interior layout and setting.

Environmental value:
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional site and beautiful, natural setting. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse contributes to the character of the Bar U Ranch. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a national historic site of Canada.

Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017; Bunkhouse/Cookhouse (Building 11), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Bunkhouse and Cookhouse should be respected.

Its agricultural appearance and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- the building’s unusual massing, with its gable roof, two-storey main section and one storey shed-roof extension;
- the light timber structural system;
- the exterior cladding of bevelled siding;
- the red and white colour scheme;
- the gabled roof.

The manner in which the building reinforces the character and setting of the Bar U Ranch.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

View of buildings

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada comprises 148.43 hectares of rangeland that constitute the original headquarters site of an Alberta cattle ranch established in the…


Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places