Storage Building 9
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, Alberta
Front - south facade
(© PWC, A&E, WRO, 1992)
Longview, Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, Alberta
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1889 to 1889
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Storage Building 9, at the Bar U Ranch is a simple, rectangular, one-storey building with a single entrance and very low walls only four to five logs high. The round log construction has dovetail notched corners. It has an exaggerated expanse of steep gabled roof covered with cedar shingles and has a prominent eave overhang. The low walls, the steep squat roof and the close relationship to grade result in a massing that has a whimsical character. The building has one door with a transom above, and one small window to the left of the door. The colour scheme of Storage building 9, (barn red walls and white trim), keeps with the tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site. The house is believed to have been constructed in the late 1880s as part of the first phase of building of the ranch. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Storage building 9 is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:
Storage building 9 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 building and its two companions served as storage facilities for food, fuel and ice. The structure was erected during the time of George Lane, who was hired at Bar in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. Storage building 9 is a component of the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. It 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 Storage Building is an excellent example of agricultural dwellings built during the early stages of settlement in Canada. It serves as an example of traditional log design by skilled builders. It stands out because of its rounded log construction. The introduction of structures like this one heralded a larger degree of permanence and stability at the ranch. Storage Building 9 is important as one of the key buildings in a cohesive purpose built complex. The building incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship. Its value lies in its functional design and form, simple massing and, common construction details, exterior finish, interior layout and setting.
As part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in a simple and beautiful setting Storage Building 9 contributes significantly to the character of the Bar U Ranch. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a National Historic Site.
Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. 92-017
Storage Building 9, Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 92-017
The following character-defining elements of Storage Building 9 should be respected, for example:
Its log construction and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
the natural high quality, locally cut logs as the primary construction material. the rounded log wall construction. the undivided interior with milled boards over stud frame. its simple and plain massing the gable walls of rough cut milled lumber, sheathed with shingles. the roof pole rafters. 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.
Storage Building 9 is part of the first phase of construction at the Bar U Ranch (ca. mid-1880s to the early 1900s), and was probably built before 1892. One building in a row of three storage buildings, it originally stored supplies related to food preparation in the nearby Bunkhouse/Cookhouse. Storage Building 9 is a component of the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. Parks Canada is the custodian. See FHBRO Building Report 92-17.
Reasons for Designation
Storage Building 9 was designated "Classified" because of the historical associations of the building as components of the ranch, because of its functional design and contribution to the overall aesthetic qualities of the complex, and because of the exceptional qualities of the site and setting.
As components of the Bar U Ranch, Storage Building 9 is strongly associated with the development of ranching in Alberta. Constructed before 1892, it is also associated with George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman, who was hired at Bar U in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. Storage Building 9 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.
An integral component of the historic grouping associated with the community centre focused on Pekisko Creek, Storage Building 9 had an important functional role in daily life as the Ranch was being established. Its configuration is characteristic of basic structures built as preliminary shelters or as outbuildings during the early stages of settlement in western Canada. Individually, Storage Building 9 is the product of a simple, function-oriented approach to construction. The grouping of which it is a part has a strong aesthetic impact due to the squat massing of the buildings, their tight, cohesive arrangement and the interplay of varying roof slopes.
As part of a larger cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in a simple and beautiful natural setting, Storage Building 9 contributes significantly to the character of the Bar U Ranch. The structure serves to reinforce the ranch's present character, which is that of a historic ranch headquarters. It is also a component of the collection of pre-1927 buildings which contribute to the landmark value of the complex as one of the region's most important early ranch sites. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a National Historic Site.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of Storage Building 9 resides in its massing, construction techniques and materials, exterior finish, interior features and in its tight physical relationship with the adjacent storage buildings and with Pekisko Creek.
Storage Building 9, the middle building of the row, is a simple, one-storey round-log structure with an exaggerated expanse of steep gabled roof and a prominent eave overhang. The roof consists of pole rafters braced with collar ties and tied with ceiling joists, and is covered with cedar shingles. The very low walls, only four to five logs high, the steep squat roof and the close relationship to grade result in a massing that has a whimsical character. The building has one door with a transom above, and one small window.
At the interior, the log walls are covered by boards on studs. The ceiling is also finished with boards. The interior is undivided. Evidence of original functions and the patina of wear should be protected.
Storage Building 9 is situated on the edge of Pekisko Creek and in close proximity to the other two storage buildings, with roof eaves overlapping in some places. The relationship of the three buildings to grade is distinctive, with the middle building sitting very low and the westernmost building sitting higher than the other two buildings. This characteristic siting and elevation should be protected. Any development 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.