Pima County Logo

Building 107 - Utility Building


Building 107 - Utility Building, before rehabilitationThe 2,150 sq ft Utility Building is one of the oldest at Canoa Ranch, and is at the heart of the historical working section at Canoa. The Utility Building was essential to daily operations, and provided a number of key functions including the constant repair and upkeep of ranch and horse-related equipment.

Architecturally, it represents a transition from Sonoran vernacular traditions to Arizona Territorial building forms, and was constructed sometime between 1901 and 1915 of 15 inch wide mud adobe bricks, with walls 14 ft high. Like other adobe structures at Canoa, it is covered in lime plaster, and lime-washed for protection.

The building contains five chambers; a Salt Storage Room to the north, two small storage rooms, Blacksmith’s shop, and large Tack Room to the south. Doors and windows are made from wood, and the foundation and floors are concrete. Flat roofs drain to decorative canales.

The Utility Building is connected to Building 108 (Equipment Shed), Building 109 (Employees Residence), and the corrals to the south.

  • Excerpt from Poster Frost's Canoa Ranch Master Plan Background Report (April 2006)

Function per 2007 Master Plan

Building 107 - Utility Building, after rehabilitation.The rehabilitation of the building occurred in 2007, with addtional work in 2010. The rehabilitated building will be used as working ranch center in which visitors to Canoa will be able to view exhibits, viewing living history demonstrations such as blacksmithing, and support a variety of other activities that will tie in with adjacent corrals and pastures.

Excerpt from the Canoa Ranch Master Plan Final Report, Poster Frost Associates, 2007:

"At the Working Ranch Center, visitors will have the opportunity to see how a ranch functions by viewing living history demonstrations and exhibits on ranch activities and ranch life. The Working Ranch Center will be integrated with activities in the adjacent corrals and pastures and will support a variety of the ranch’s interpretive and programmatic elements including potential heritage breed cattle operation and agricultural fields.

At the heart of the working section of the ranch is the utility building. The historic blacksmith’s shop and tack room will be restored and used for demonstrations and visitor activities. A lounge for the cowboys taking part in living history demonstrations is included in the northern portion of this structure. Probably one of the earliest buildings on the ranch, the utility building is interconnected with two other structures. To the east, is an 890 square foot employee’s residence comprised of a bedroom, living room/kitchen, and toilet. This space will be used as a ranch family house museum, interpreting the life of a 20th century family working on the ranch. To the west, an equipment storage shed, added at a later, unknown date, can be used to store equipment or machinery. This largely open, post and beam structure could serve as a covered pavilion for special events at the ranch."