This Week in Barns: A Tale of Three Barns in PA

This post submitted by Jeffrey Marshall, Vice-President of the NBA and Board Member of the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania.  His real job as President of the Heritage Conservancy keeps him pretty busy too.  Marshall is one of three NBA members speaking at the CT Trust’s “Celebration of Barns” in Old Saybrook, CT on June 7 and 8, 2013.  Come out and join in the fun!

Barn preservation issues in southeastern Pennsylvania seem to come in waves. This week I am dealing with the fate of three barns in Bucks County.

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Barn 1

One is on a working farm and two are on properties that are scheduled for residential subdivision.  The barn on the working farm has been deteriorating over the years as it is no longer integral to the farm operation.   The farmer has  requested a demolition permit.  I am working with the township which has a preservation ordinance to request that the barn be documented.  Correspondence noting the National Barn Alliance’s guiding principles on barn preservation has been sent to the township zoning and code enforcement officer.

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Barn 2

The second barn is scheduled for demolition.  The local historic commission and others are interested in having the barn preserved.   The developer has no interest in doing so.  A letter from the National Barn Alliance advocating its preservation has been sent to the local planning commission.

The third barn is also subject to a residential subdivision plan.  However, in this case, the property owner is interested in converting the barn to residential use.  The township has a progressive historic preservation ordinance that allows for zoning relief for significant historic structures including barns.  A statement of historic significance is being prepared for submission.

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Barn 3

The NBA is grateful for all the time and energy Jeff Marshall has dedicated to these three historic barns on behalf of the organization, as well as countless others in Pennsylvania and across the country.  If you would like to submit information about endangered, significant, or adaptively re-used barns in your neck of the woods, please contact us!