Description of Historic Place
Situated at the Observatory Campus on the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) Seismology Survey Building, also known as Building No. 7, is a rectangular three-storey brick, steel and concrete structure with a flat roof. It is distinguished by a symmetrical façade composed of a stone base, brick wall, metal cornice, shaped parapet and classical details characteristic of the stripped down Edwardian Classical style. Stone lintels, sills, stringcourses and entrance surrounds, enliven the composition. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Seismology Survey Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Seismology Survey Building is associated with the establishment of the Geodetic Survey of Canada and with the history of seismological research and development. Its construction reflected the expansion of the federal role in pure and applied research to enhance the country’s scientific and economic development. The construction of this building, and of adjacent government office buildings, also encouraged local city growth.
The Seismology Survey Building is valued for its aesthetic design. It is a good example of the stripped Edwardian Classical style used for mid-sized governmental lab and office buildings of this era. The symmetrical façade and selective use of classical detail are characteristic of this style. The building’s layout comprised of a central corridor plan, exhibits good functional design. Good craftsmanship and materials are demonstrated in the smooth brick masonry walls with corner quoins, sandstone lintels, sills, stringcourses and entrance surrounds.
The Seismology Survey Building reinforces the present character of its landscaped setting established around the Dominion Observatory at the Central Experimental Farm. The building is familiar within the immediate area.
Sources: Jacqueline Hucker, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 92-040; Seismology Survey Building, Building 7, Central Experimental Farm. Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 92-040.
The following character-defining elements of the Seismology Survey Building should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and functional design, good materials and craftsmanship, for
-the three-storey massing, which consists of a flat-roofed rectangular structure with a two storey extension;
-the roof line with its distinctive metal cornice and shaped parapet;
-the elongated vertical proportions, symmetrically organized façades and varied, repetitive window rhythms;
-the use of materials to create a classical tripartite division of base, body and cornice, with rough limestone at the base, smooth brick masonry for the body, and copper defining the cornice;
-the brick walls with corner quoins, accentuated by red sandstone lintels, sills, stringcourses and entrance surrounds;
-the interior central corridor plan;
-the interior materials such as terrazzo flooring, marble stairs and woodwork.
The manner in which the Seismology Survey Building reinforces the present character of its landscaped setting at the CEF and is familiar, as evidenced by:
-its scale, massing, roof profile and materials, which are compatible with the present informal layout of adjacent buildings set in their mature treed landscape;
-its visibility, from Carling Avenue, due to its scale, location, and the prominent, large satellite dish on its roof;
-its role as a component of the historic complex of early government buildings established around the Dominion Observatory at the CEF, which makes it familiar within the immediate area.