Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Nappan, Nova Scotia
© Department of Agriculture / Ministère de l'Agriculture, 1948.
Highway 2, Crops and Livestock Research Centre, Nappan, Nova Scotia
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1892 to 1892
Implement and Seed Storage
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Building 16, also known as the Implement and Seed Storage, is a Research Farm building located at Nappan Experimental Farm. It is a low, rectangular, wood-frame building with a banked foundation and entrances on the main and basement level. It is clad in clapboard siding and has a steeply pitched gable roof with gable dormers. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 16 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Building 16 strongly illustrates the role of Canada’s Experimental Farm System in agricultural research and experimentation from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Nappan Experimental Farm, established in 1887, was one of five farms in the system. Building 16 was constructed in 1892 as a combined workshop and storage facility for crop research. Building 16 was used almost exclusively to support the development, cataloguing, storage and distribution of seed samples for Atlantic Canada.
Building 16 is a good example of a 19th century barn designed to conceal its largely scientific function as a laboratory and storage area. Its steeply pitched gable roof, long eave line, low eaves, gable-roofed dormers, human scale, and connected functional units are all borrowed from the Quebec barn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The banked foundation, executed in concrete, with entrances on the main and basement levels reflects 19th century barn construction in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Its design conforms to the picturesque aesthetic chosen for all of the original farms of the Experimental Farm Branch of the federal Department of Agriculture.
Building 16 is compatible with the present character of the agricultural farm setting at the Nappan Experimental Farm. It is a well-known building and dominates its visual landscape.
Sources: Michel Pelletier, Research Farm Building #16 (Implement and Seed Storage), Nappan Experimental Farm, Nappan, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 00-017; Research Farm Building #16, Nappan Experimental Farm, Nappan, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 00-017.
The following character-defining elements of Building 16 should be respected.
Its picturesque aesthetic and functional features drawn from 19th century barn construction traditions, for example: the steeply pitched gable roof with long eave line, low eaves, gable-roofed dormers, and a banked foundation with entrances on two levels; the small scale of the building, the low, shingled, gable roof, and the small windows and clapboard siding; the milled and hand-hewn timbers in the framing of the building.
The manner in which Building 16 is compatible with the character of its agricultural farm setting and is a well-known landmark in the area, as evidenced by: its scale, picturesque barn design, and construction material, which harmonize with the 19th century Main Barn; its location where it frames the historic and physical core of the farm; its high visibility and specialized role which make it well-known within the landscape.
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.
Reasons for Designation
Building 16 has been designated 'Recognized' because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.
Building 16 illustrates the role of Canada's Experimental Farm System in agricultural research and experimentation over a century, from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Nappan Experimental Farm, established in 1887, was one of five original farms in the system. Building 16 was constructed in 1892 as a combined workshop and storage facility for crop research. It was one of seven buildings erected at Nappan in the 1880s and 1890s, only two of which are extant. Building 16 was used almost exclusively to support the development, cataloguing, storage and distribution of seed samples for Atlantic Canada.
Building 16 conforms to the Picturesque aesthetic chosen for all of the original farms of the Experimental Farm branch of the federal Department of Agriculture. As a support structure, only the most basic design elements, namely, exterior cladding, roofing and trim, provided limited opportunity for architectural expression of the dominant Queen Anne style used more clearly on barns and main residences. Its steeply pitched gable roof, long eave line, low eaves, gable-roofed dormers, human scale, and connected functional units in one structure are all borrowed from the `Quebec' barn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The banked foundation, here executed in concrete with entrances on the main and basement levels, is typical of 19th-century barn construction in Ontario and Nova Scotia. The interior structure of the barn incorporates milled as well as hand-hewn timbers and is largely concealed beneath tongue-and-groove boarding. The 1948 extension closely follows the visual aesthetic of the original building.
Building 16 was originally one of at least three agricultural outbuildings, including a second seed and implement building, grouped behind the director's residence in a courtyard pattern conforming to practices promoted by the Experimental Farms Branch. Located within the physical core of the farm, close to the main entrance, the barn, residence and outbuildings dominated the cultural landscape of the farm. Subsequent construction was designed to complement the aesthetic of these original buildings. However, the demolition of farm buildings, especially the main residence, has altered the relationship of buildings within the central core. Building 16 and the other extant 19th century building, the Main Barn, now dominate its visual landscape.
The heritage character of Building 16 resides in the following character-defining elements:
Aesthetic and functional features drawn from 19th century barn construction traditions that purposely concealed its largely scientific function as a laboratory and storage area. These features include: a steeply pitched gable roof with long eave line; low eaves; gable-roofed dormers, and a banked foundation with entrances on two levels.
' Features drawn from the Picturesque aesthetic, including the small scale of the building, low, shingled, gable roof, comparatively small windows, and clapboard siding.
' Milled and hand-hewn timbers in the framing of the building that testify to its 19th-century origins.
' The placement of Building 16 within the core of the Experimental Farm, proximate to the Main Barn.
All maintenance and repair work, as well as future interventions, should respect these character-defining elements.