Tractor Garage, Building 7
Classified Federal Heritage Building
(© PWC, A&E Services, WRO, 1992)
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, Longview, Alberta
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1940 to 1940
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Tractor Garage is a rectangular, one storey building with a gabled roof covered with cedar shingles. The exterior walls are sheathed with beveled siding. Double sliding doors on the north façade accommodate entry and storage of vehicle and farm equipment. The colour scheme barn red walls and white trim keeps with tradition across the Prairies and visually links the strucure to the other buildings on site. The Garage is set on a flat grassy area central location in the Bar U Ranch. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Tractor Garage is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:
The Bar U Ranch is one of the best examples of the national theme of ranching in Alberta, and its importance in the development of Canada. As a functional component of the Bar U Ranch, the Tractor Garage is important for its contribution as a storage building illustrating the ranch’s use of specialized farm vehicles by this period. 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 recognised as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance.
The Tractor Building is a very good example of agricultural storage facilities and early 1900s building practices at the Bar U and in the region. Its value lies in its functional design and form, simple massing, common construction details, exterior finish, and interior layout. It has a character of simplicity and functionality.
The Tractor Garage is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional ranch site.. The Tractor Garage contributes to the character of the Bar U Ranch.
Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017
Tractor Garage (Building 7), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta. Heritage Character
The following character-defining elements of the Tractor Garage should be respected, for example:
Its agricultural storage building type and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in: the light frame structural system. the gabled roof clad with shingles. the exterior and interior horizontal boards. the large sliding vehicle doors on the front elevation. the two twelve light sash windows and the two six light sash windows.
The manner in which the building reinforces the ranch setting.
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 Tractor Garage at the Bar U Ranch was built before 1940 during the second phase of development at the ranch; its precise construction date is uncertain. The Tractor Garage continues in its original use. The Bar U Ranch is a National Historic Site. Parks Canada is the custodian. See FHBRO Building Report 92-17.
Reasons for Designation
The Tractor Garage, as a component of the Bar U Ranch, 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 a functional component of the ranch, the Tractor Garage is important for its contribution as a storage building illustrating the ranch's use of specialized farm vehicles by this period. It also reflects the mechanization of ranches and farms across the Prairies. Constructed before 1940, the Tractor Garage 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 Tractor Garage contributes significantly to the character of the Bar U Ranch. A component of the community centre, focused on Pekisko Creek, the structure is located between the log foreman's house and the bunkhouse.
A reasonably prominent building on the site due to its central location, the Tractor Garage is the product of a simple, function-oriented design and yet has a strong aesthetic impact due to its scale, massing and colour consistent with other buildings on the site. Possibly constructed with salvaged materials from another building on site, the Tractor Garage's form and materials suggest its utilitarian function. Its construction materials resemble those of the Stud-Horse Barn and other buildings built between 1909 and 1916.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Tractor Garage resides in its form, massing, materials, exterior finishes and setting.
The Tractor Garage's simple massing reflects its function, with a rectangular footprint and large sliding vehicular service doors in the north end to accommodate the entry and storage of vehicles and farm equipment. Siding is horizontal beveled; the gabled roof is covered in cedar shingles. The colour scheme (barn red walls and white trim) keeps with tradition across the Prairies and visually links the structure to the other buildings on site. The simple footprint and the limited palette of materials should be respected in any intervention.
The exterior is characterized by the size and location of openings: the large sliding vehicle doors dominate the front elevation; two 12-light fixed sash windows separated only by a mullion provide natural light at the rear; a person door serves the rear of the building; and the sidewalls have small 6-light sash. All of these features contribute to the building's heritage character and should be protected in any future modifications or maintenance work.
The setting is utilitarian. Any site development should seek to retain this functional quality and respect existing patterns of access and circulation. Any changes to circulation or access should consider the historic pattern.