Description of Historic Place
The Swine Showcase Building No. 91 is located at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) in Ottawa. The structure is a T-shaped building comprising three parts. Its long elevations are dominated by a low, medium-pitched gable roof, carried across the entire building, with large dormers, access doors to the attic storey, and rooftop ventilators. The walls with wood trimmed, multiple-paned windows are clad in board and batten siding. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Swine Showcase Building No. 91 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Swine Showcase Building No. 91 is associated with the dual role of the Experimental Farm Service in undertaking agricultural research and in promoting sound farming practices across Canada, through the construction and operation of model farm buildings. The building is intimately connected with the work of the Division of Animal Husbandry in carrying out swine experiments and in providing models for their optimum care and housing. Increasing emphasis on the importance of a healthy, sanitary environment for pigs led the Division to make recommendations concerning types of construction, layout and ventilation and to embody these in its own swine housing. Constructed during the second phase of development of the CEF (1911-1919), the building is also associated with a period of rapid expansion, reorganization and intense construction. The building was expanded during the third phase of development at the CEF (1920-1936), when increasing attention to precision in experimentation played and important part in the determination for building specifications.
The Swine Showcase Building No. 91 is valued for its very good aesthetic design. Its exterior cladding, window treatment and wood trim, conforms to the modified Shingle Style utilized for early service buildings at the CEF. The massing of its long elevation, however, is dominated by a utilitarian medium-pitched roof and low eave line that cover both axis of the building. Of good functional design, the building’s construction and appearance closely follow requirements promoted by the Division of Animal Husbandry for animal housing to ensure warmth, dryness, sanitation, sunlight and ventilation of both animals and feed. As such the building demonstrates very good, solid construction techniques and materials.
The Swine Showcase Building No. 91 reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting. The building is used as part of the Agriculture Museum and is familiar to visitors and employees of the farm.
Sources: Laurie Smith, Contentworks Inc., Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 95-030; Swine Showcase, Building 91, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 95-030.
The following character-defining elements of the Swine Showcase Building No. 91 should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the low massing of its long elevations, dominated by a utilitarian medium-pitched roof, with dormers and access doors to the attic storey, and the low eave line that covers both axis of the building;
-the board and batten siding, multiple-paned windows, shingled roof, large dormers, and roof ventilators;
-the functional requirements for a healthy and sanitary piggery promoted by the Division of Animal Husbandry, as embodied in its solid construction, concrete foundation, many large windows, and natural ventilation system, including air ducts in the hayloft and ventilators on the roof;
-extant features which speak to its original function as a working piggery, including the location of small doors leading from individual pens to exterior pig runs, the hayloft doors in the gable ends and dormers, and the interior space allotted to the hayloft.
The manner in which the Swine Showcase Building No. 91 reinforces the agricultural character of its farm setting and is a well-known landmark, as evidenced by:
-its low scale, massing, roof profile and materials, which harmonize with the other farm buildings, including the Little Piggery (Building 91A) and the Main Barn (Building 88);
-its visibility to many people, given its role as part of the Agriculture Museum which makes it familiar, especially among those who visit the museum.