CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
(© (Kate MacFarlane, Architectural History Branch, Heritage Railway Stations Division, 1987.))
74 Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1924 to 1924
1929 to 1929
Event, Person, Organization:
Department of Public Works, Chief architect’s office, R.C. Wright
Botanical Laboratory / Horticulture Building 74
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 is located at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) in Ottawa. The two-and-a-half storey research building displays the influence of Revival styles, popular at the farm, in the design of its steeply pitched roof, roughcast stucco and decorative half-timbering. The main entrance doors are recessed within a projecting, two-storey, gabled section on the front façade. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 is closely associated with Canada’s experimental farm system and its role in agricultural research and education. The building was built as a botanical laboratory and research center.
CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 is valued for its good aesthetic qualities. It is a subdued but attractive example of Queen Anne architecture, employing the decorative half-timbering and textural contrasts associated with the style. Demonstrating a good functional design as a research facility, it was designed to accommodate space for specimen examination and storage. The decorative treatment of the entryways, the half-timbering and masonry brickwork reveal good materials and craftsmanship.
CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting. The building is familiar within the immediate area.
Kate MacFarlane, Building No.74, Botanical Laboratory, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 87-057.
Botanical Laboratory, Botanical Laboratory / Horticulture Building 74, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 87-057.
The character-defining elements of CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and functional design and good materials and craftsmanship, for example: the two-and-a-half storey massing with a steeply-pitched, truncated hip roof punctuated at regular intervals with flat-topped dormers; the symmetrical arrangement of the façade with paired rectangular windows flanking a slightly projecting central section topped with its own steeply pitched roof; the exterior cladding including the brick and stucco, and the decorative half-timbering; the foundation walls of random coursed stone; the decorative treatment of the entryway, which is composed of recessed double doors under a segmental arch with radiating brick voussoirs; the regular arrangement of windows; the various finishes and decorative treatments.
The manner in which CEF, Horticulture Building, No. 74 maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by: its ongoing relationship to its carefully manicured grounds; its overall design, brick and stucco cladding and decorative details, which are consistent with CEF buildings of the late 19th and early 20thcenturies; its importance as part of a group of research and science buildings located at the farm, which makes it a familiar building to visitors and employees.
Heritage Character Statement
The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.
Building No. 74 of the Central Experimental Farm was built as a botanical laboratory and research center in 1924, to designs produced in the office of the chief architect of the Department of Public Works, R.C. Wright. It was more than doubled in size in 1929, using the same design vocabulary. It continues to serve as a research center, currently used by the Agro-Meteorology and Engineering Divisions. The custodial department is Agriculture Canada; the property is managed by Public Works Canada. See FHBRO Building Report 87-57.
Reasons for Designation
The Botanical Laboratory has been designated a Recognized heritage building because of its historical associations with the increasing scale and scope of the farm's activities and the changing, increasingly scientific approach toward agricultural disciplines in the 1910s and 1920s. It is of satisfying architectural design and contributes to the picturesque quality of its setting.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of this property is defined by the building's exterior, and by its siting.
The building is a subdued but attractive example of Queen Anne architecture, employing the decorative half-timbering and textural contrasts associated with the style. The foundation walls are of random coursed stone; the first storey is clad in brick, with some decorative treatment of the entryways; and the upper storey is stuccoed, with a contrasting half-timbered gable above the main entrance. The steeply pitched, gable hip roof was redone at the time of the expansion to create a unified appearance for the building. It is punctuated at regular intervals with flat-topped dormers. The various finishes and decorative treatments should be maintained, to preserve the rustic quality of the building.
The Botanical Laboratory is visually isolated from surrounding buildings, except for the unobtrusive greenhouses to the rear, by carefully manicured grounds on all sides. In light of the rural associations of the Queen Anne style, the character of the building and associated landscape can be seen as mutually enhancing. As far as possible, this relationship should be maintained, reflecting as it does the aesthetic vocabulary established at the farm over the years.