Description of Historic Place
The Machine Shop (#4) is a plain single-storey, brick and concrete building located on the Observatory Campus at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. The L-shaped structure has a truncated-hip roof with deep overhanging eaves and a tall brick chimney. A wooden gable, supported on decorative brackets, protects the main entrance, and regularly spaced windows with limestone sills are arranged along the building’s walls. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Machine Shop (#4) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Machine Shop (#4) is associated with the establishment of the Geodetic Survey of Canada and, as the site where a number of advanced astronomical instruments were designed, with the history of astronomical research and development. The building is also associated with the internationally recognized, astrophysicist and astronomer, J.S. Plaskett.
The Machine Shop (#4) is valued for its good aesthetic design. It is a simple, functional building that meets the requirements of a machine shop, with its two open interior spaces. The building’s good craftsmanship is evidenced in its brick construction with stone window sills.
The Machine Shop (#4) is compatible with the picturesque character of its Observatory Campus setting. The building is familiar within the immediate area.
Sources: Jacqueline Hucker, Building #4, The Machine Shop, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 92-038; The Machine Shop, Building #4, Central Experimental Farm. Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 92-038.
The following character-defining elements of the Machine Shop (#4) should be respected.
Its good aesthetic design, good functional design and good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the one-storey massing, which consists of an L-shaped structure topped by a truncated hip roof and deep overhanging eaves;
-the red brick walls set on a concrete foundation accented by limestone window sills;
-the overhanging wooden gable, supported on decorative brackets, and protecting the main entrance.
The manner in which the Machine Shop (#4) is compatible to the picturesque character of its observatory campus setting, as evidenced by:
-its simple design, materials and details, which harmonize with the informal complex of buildings in the picturesque, campus setting;
-its familiarity as a subsidiary component of the Observatory Campus, which is an attraction to visitors to the Central Experimental Farm.