Description of Historic Place
The Small Dairy Barn, also known as Building 95, is located close to the Agricultural Museum at the Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site of Canada in Ottawa. The large, gambrel-roofed, wood-framed barn is clad in board and batten siding and features numerous large windows. Three square roof turrets, housing ventilator boxes, are aligned along the top of the roof ridge, which protectively extends beyond the gable ends. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Small Dairy Barn is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Small Dairy Barn is closely associated with the government initiative, undertaken between 1910 and 1920, in scientific livestock improvement and hygienic milk production. The barn housed milk cows and had provisions for carrying out experiments on the digestibility of food. The building was also used by the Agriculture Engineering Institute to perform stress tests on barn trusses. In 1988, the barn was rehabilitated for use as a sheep showcase.
The Small Dairy Barn is valued for its very good aesthetic design, which resembles the “Wisconsin Barn” type, developed in the mid-west United States at the end of the 19th century. Such features as the gambrel roof, the trussed rafters, the large and numerous windows and the original stable layout are characteristic of this barn type. Also, demonstrating very good functional qualities in its design, the barn was a model of dairy theory and practice from the early 20th century. The physical remains of the waste disposal system and the ventilation system are testimony to the building’s innovative planning and equipment. Very good craftsmanship and materials are evidenced in the building’s vertically battened siding and purged concrete foundation wall.
The Small Dairy Barn is compatible with the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting and is familiar to visitors and employees of the farm.
Sources: Kate MacFarlane, Building No. 95 (Small Dairy Barn) Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 87-104; Sheep Showcase/ Small Dairy Barn, Building No. 95, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 87-104.
The character-defining elements of the Small Dairy Barn should be respected.
Its very good ‘Wisconsin barn’ type aesthetic design, very good functional design and every good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the compact and simple massing, including the archetypal barn roof shape with ventilators, a gambrel roof and trussed rafters;
- the pointed extension to the roof at each gable end which functioned as a cover and support for the hay carrier;
- the wood frame construction;
- the symmetrical and regular placement of door openings and large and numerous windows;
- the physical remains of the waste disposal system such as litter carriers, gutters, etc.,and the ventilation system such as the square roof turrets, ventilator boxes, foul-air outlets, etc;
- the vertically battened siding and parged concrete foundation wall.
The manner in which the Small Dairy Barn is compatible with the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting and is a familiar building, as evidenced by:
- its design and materials which harmonize with the finishes and features of the other Central Experimental Farm buildings;
- its visibility, given its location near the Agricultural Museum on the NCC Driveway;
- its role as a sheep showcase at the Central Experimental Farm, which makes it a well known building to visitors and employees.