Description of Historic Place
The Heritage House (Building 54) faces the Central Lawn at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) in Ottawa. Designed as a residence it is a two-and-a-half storey structure with a prominent roof and chimneys. Its picturesque appearance is reinforced by clapboard siding and by a decorative verandah that wraps around two sides. A one-storey dining hall is attached at the back. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Heritage House (Building 54) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Heritage House (Building 54) is associated with the 19th-century agricultural reform practices promoted by the federal Department of Agriculture through the experimental farm system, and the contributions of the CEF to Canadian agricultural science. The building was constructed as a residence for the CEF’s agriculturalist, one of the most senior positions in the Canadian experimental farm system. From the 1880s until the 1950s, the agriculturalist and other senior staff lived on the CEF to tend to round-the-clock research and other professional responsibilities. The building is also associated with the CEF’s role as a model farm, and with the creation of a distinctive cultural landscape at the CEF in fulfillment of that role. The picturesque aesthetic dominated the core area of the Farm during the formative period from 1886-1892 and Heritage House (Building 54) is one of few extant CEF buildings dating from this period.
The Heritage House (Building 54) is valued for its very good aesthetic design, executed in the Queen Anne Revival/ Shingle Style, used on all major CEF residences, and in a more restrained fashion on barns and outbuildings during the 19th century. The large scale of the building with its attached dining hall for labourers reflects a good functional design for the home of a senior staff member and as a model home for a well-to-do farmer. Very good craftsmanship is demonstrated in the exterior handling of the wood materials.
The Heritage House (Building 54) reinforces the picturesque character of its landscaped estate-like setting at the Central Experimental Farm and is a familiar building within the immediate area.
Sources: Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, NOTES 95-073; Heritage House, Building #54, Central Experimental Farm. Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 95-073.
The following character-defining elements of Heritage House (Building 54) should be respected.
Its very good Shingle Style design, good functional design and very good materials and
craftsmanship, for example:
-the large scale and massing of the house, which consists of a two-and-a-half storey structure with a verandah around two sides and a hipped and gable roof;
-the attached one-storey dining hall;
-the Queen Anne Revival/Shingle Style details and materials such as the asymmetrical roof line, clapboard siding, multi-lite windows, flared shingled skirt on the second storey, alternating bands of clipped and straight-edged shingles on the top half of the second storey, banding courses at the window levels, and sunburst and half-timber detailing of the dormers.
The manner in which Heritage House (Building 54) reinforces the picturesque character of its estate-like setting at the experimental farm and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
-its large scale, residential appearance, and materials, which harmonizes with its immediate surroundings including the Central Lawn, the main barn and Maple Avenue;
-its familiarity and visual presence, given its location facing the Central Lawn, which makes it a familiar building to those who work at or who visit the farm.