Kentville Research Station, Research Station #5
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Kentville, Nova Scotia
© Agriculture Canada / Ministère de l'Agriculture, 1993.
Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1912 to 1912
Event, Person, Organization:
Department of Agriculture and Immigration
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Research Station, also known as Building 5 and the Main Barn, is built into the sloping terrain at the Kentville Research Station. It is a large, timber-frame structure, with a metal, gabled roof and shed-roofed additions on each side. The building is distinguished by its red-painted clapboard exterior and small windows and white trim. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Research Station is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Research Station is closely associated with Canada’s Experimental Farm system, which began in 1886 as a response to the country’s expanding agricultural needs. The Research Station, originally a dairy barn, is an example of early efforts by the federal government to promote and assist agriculture in Canada. The Kentville Research Station is directly linked to the economic heart of the Annapolis Valley and has had a positive impact on the apple growing industry.
The Research Station is a good example of a bank barn as evidenced in its proportions, fenestration, materials, framing and construction. It exhibits the typical vertical orientation of the bank barn design with a gabled roof and two shed-roofed additions. It is also a good example of functional design as its active service has shifted focus from husbandry to horticulture.
The Research Station reinforces the present character of the agricultural farm setting at the Kentville Research Station. It is a familiar and regional landmark.
Sources: Fern Graham, Blair House (Building 18), Main Barn (Building 5), Sheffield House (Building 29), Kentville Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 93-076; Main Barn (Building 5), Kentville Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 93-076.
The character-defining elements of the Research Station should be respected.
Its bank barn design, functional design and good craftsmanship, for example: the vertical orientation of the structure with a gabled roof and two-shed roofed additions
on each side; the timber-frame construction; the narrow-gauge red-painted clapboard with contrasting white-painted trim and metal
roofing; the small six-over-six wood sash windows.
The manner in which the Research Station is compatible with the character of its agricultural farm setting at the Kentville Research Station and is a well known landmark in the region, as evidenced by: its bank barn design, size and materials, which complements rural setting and
harmonizes with other buildings at the research station; its prominence and visibility given its location at the top of a slope which contributes to
its status as a landmark in the region.
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 Main Barn, Building # 5 at the Kentville Research Station, was constructed in 1912. It was designed by the Department of Agriculture and Immigration and is currently used for horticultural activities and storage. Agriculture Canada is the custodial department. See FHBRO Building Report 93-76.
Reasons for Designation
The Main Barn was designated Recognized because of its unique environmental qualities, its important historical associations and its architectural design.
The Main Barn is a well known landmark among the farming community of the Annapolis Valley. It is closely identified with the modernizing of agriculture in the region and with the history of the research station. Although its silos and cattle stalls have been removed, its character has been retained, reinforced by its size and by its setting at the top of a slope.
Canada's Experimental Farm system was begun in 1886 as a response to the country's expanding agricultural needs. Building #5, originally a dairy barn, is an example of early efforts by the federal government to promote and assist agriculture in Canada. The station is linked to the economic heart of the Annapolis Valley and has had a positive impact on the apple growing industry.
The Main Barn continues in active service, with its focus shifting from husbandry to horticulture. It is a good intact example of a bank barn in its proportions, fenestration, materials, framing and assembly. The sloped terrain at the site is ideally suited for this design, which is generally associated with Ontario. The setting is characterized by its association with the period during which the station was established, providing a context to past research activities and its identification as an agricultural landmark.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Main Barn resides in its significant aesthetic of agricultural building forms and massing, in its materials of construction and in its site and setting.
The Main Barn exhibits the typical vertical orientation of the bank barn design, with a gabled roof and two shed-roofed additions, one on each of the long facades. The form and massing are integral to the design.
The exterior of the timber frame building and shed additions is characterized by the narrow-gauge red-painted clapboard, contrasting white-painted trim, metal roofing, and small windows with six-over-six wood sash. The immaculate exterior is in keeping with the scientific nature of the station and should be continued with good conservation maintenance practices.
The concrete foundation functioned well when cows were accommodated here. In the 1960s, however, the silos, cattle stalls and ventilators were removed. Introduced were storage shelves, two root cellars and a refrigerated area, as part of the shift from husbandry to horticulture. The replacement of missing ventilators, and any new functional activities which would contribute to the continuation of the life of the barn while conserving the historic fabric, are encouraged.
The Main Barn is built into the sloping uneven topography of the farm setting. The dramatic view of the Main Barn at the top of the slope contributes to its status as a regional landmark. The setting, views and circulation patterns reinforce the agricultural character and therefore merit protection.