Classified Federal Heritage Building
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, Alberta
(© Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, (A & E Services -- CPS, WRO), 1992.)
Longview, Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, Alberta
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1920 to 1929
Building No. 23
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Woodshed at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, also known as Building No. 23, is a rectangular single-storey construction clad with bevelled siding. Its gabled roof is covered with cedar shingles. The Woodshed’s layout is typical of a generic storage shed, with its single entrance placed at one end of the south facing side-wall. The south, north, and west-facing walls have windows. A gable-roofed privy stands to the west-facing gable end of the Woodshed. The colour scheme of the Woodshed, (barn red walls and white trim), keeps with the tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site. It’s main characteristics reflect simplicity and functionality. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Woodshed is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
This building, as a part of Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, is one of the best examples of the national theme of the development of ranching in Alberta, and its importance in the development of Canada. The Woodshed was constructed next to the Pearson House before 1930. The building is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance.
The Woodshed is a very good example of an agricultural building used at ranches in the Prairies. The building incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship. Its value also lies in its simple, functional design.
The Woodshed is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional site and beautiful, natural setting. The Woodshed contributes to the character of the Bar U Ranch. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a national historic site of Canada.
Sources: Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017; Coal Shed (Building 23), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.
The character-defining elements of the Woodshed should be respected.
Its agricultural appearance and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in: its rectangular, single-storey massing; the light timber structural system; the gabled roof, clad with milled cedar shingles; the exterior cladding of bevelled siding; the red and white colour scheme;
The manner in which the building reinforces the character and setting of the Bar U Ranch.
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.
The Coal Shed, Building 23, is associated with Foreman Pearson's House. Although the exact construction date is unknown, it is believed to have been built in the 1920s, within the residential area of the ranch, and moved to its present location prior to 1940. It is a component of the Bar U National Historic Site. Parks Canada is the custodian. See FHBRO Building Report 92-17.
Reasons For Designation
The Coal Shed, as a component of the Bar U Ranch complex, was designated "Classified" because of the historical associations of this building and the ranch as a whole, because of the exceptional qualities of the site and setting, and because of its contribution to the overall aesthetic qualities of the complex.
The Bar U Ranch is strongly associated with the development of ranching in Alberta. As part of the Bar U, and as an ancillary building associated with Foreman Pearson's House, the Coal Shed played a supporting role in this development. The structure is also associated with George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman, who was hired at the Bar U in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the Ranch between 1902 and 1925. Finally, the Coal Shed is associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance.
As part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in a simple and beautiful natural setting, the Coal Shed contributes to the character of the Bar U Ranch. The structure sits behind Foreman Pearson's House along with the Vehicle Garage and Privy, within the management and residential area. These subsidiary buildings visually reinforce the function and importance of Foreman Pearson's House within the ranch.
The Coal Shed is the product of a simple, function-oriented design. It contributes to the ranch's utilitarian character and blends well with the other buildings on the site.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Coal Shed resides in the utilitarian nature of its form and massing, materials, windows and doors, exterior finish and setting.
The Coal Shed's simple form and massing reflect its utilitarian function. The Coal Shed is constructed with stud walls and clad with bevelled siding, a construction system employed for many of the ranch's buildings from 1906 onward. It also bears an outer layer of asphalt shingles in badly deteriorating condition. Its gabled roof is covered with milled cedar shingles. The Coal Shed's layout is typical of a generic storage shed, with its single entrance placed at one end of the south-facing side wall. Its colour scheme (barn red walls and white trim) keeps with tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site. A gable-roofed privy stands adjacent to the west-facing gable end of the Coal Shed. Any repairs to the building should follow precedent for materials, levels of craftsmanship, fasteners and tool marks.
Any developments should seek to retain the functional quality of the site and respect existing patterns of access and circulation. Any changes to circulation or access should consider historic patterns related to the movement of pedestrians and motorized vehicles. The relationship of the Coal Shed to the Vehicle Garage and Privy, to Foreman Pearson's House and to other buildings on the site should be maintained.