Its size and location makes the Main Barn one of the most recognisable buildings at the University of Saskatchewan. Designed by Brown and Vallance of Montreal, the large L-shaped barn with silos attached was intended to provide accommodation for about thirty horses and fifty cattle. Construction took two years (1911-1912) with a total cost of $150,000. The west wing, 48 feet wide and 132 feet long, was finished in the first year and was used for the university's horses until the 1950s. The dimensions of the east wing were 168 by 45 feet. It was used to house the dairy herd. The loft, with approximately the same area of the ground floor, was used to store feed.
The Barn rests on a concrete foundation with the first eight feet of the exterior walls composed of rough granite stone. The upper part of the exterior walls and roof are clad in cedar shingles. The roof line is 44 feet high but with the several ventilator cupolas located along the roof ridges the buildings height rises to 50 feet. The building has a Gambrel-type roof that became popular in the United States in the 1850s and is reminiscent of barns in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The internal structure is made up of 8 by 10 timber beams supported by steel columns. The loft floor is comprised of 2 by 5 planks laid on edge. Of the original two ramps that gave access to the loft only the north side one exists today. Two 120-ton concrete silos flank the north ramp and are probably the oldest in Saskatchewan. A low stone wall of rough granite encircles much of the building and defines the Barn’s external pens.