Barn Preservation Program
Despite the rich stock of
historic barns in the Wisconsin landscape, we see fewer attempts to
save them. The threats to these buildings are many, including urban
growth and its associated roadway expansion, improper maintenance and
upkeep, and new construction techniques, materials, and design. The
University of Wisconsin-Extension, along with the
Wisconsin Trust for Historic
Preservation and the
Wisconsin Historical Society, are spearheading a multifaceted
approach aimed at saving many of Wisconsin's historic agricultural
buildings. The Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program is aimed at both
addressing public concerns and drawing attention to the importance of
preserving the elements of Wisconsin's rural countryside, those
elements that make it a unique part of America.
Some of the strategies
being pursued by this group include the coordination of regional
educational workshops, the production of technical resource materials
and the support of non-profit organizations that can help orchestrate
efforts to establish grants and other kinds of technical assistance
programs aimed at helping barn owners interested in preservation.
On Saturday, June 23, 2007, visitors to Schuster's Playtime Farm experienced an old fashioned barn raising. Find out more using the links below:
Poster Invitation (PDF file, 173 kb)
Background Information (PDF file, 52 kb)
Wisconsin State Journal article, June 24, 2007 (PDF file, 727 kb; used with permission.)
A Project Update, September 7, 2007 (PDF file, 70 kb)
Video slideshow of the event (QuickTime video, 97 Mb, opens in new window.)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Comes to Wisconsin - 2007-2008
Between Fences is
an exhibition designed by the Smithsonian Institution specifically for
small, rural communities. The exhibition explores themes of
boundaries, place, and space using objects and images including
fences, tools, photographs, and publications such as product
literature, journals, postcards, and posters.
The Wisconsin Humanities
Council will coordinate the tour, as part of the Museums on Main
Street program, working closely with Wisconsin’s six host
organizations and communities to plan public programs on the many
themes of the exhibition, such as land use, defining public and
private space in terms of home, farm, and factory, the settling of the
United States, and the boundaries and borders of human relationships.
For a list of dates and
locations, see the Wisconsin Humanities Council
Encouraging National Register Nominations
For several years, the
Alliance has struggled with how to make it easier for barns to be
placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A special NBA
sub-committee was formed in 1999 to study this issue. Toward that end
the National Barn Alliance is directing interested parties to provide
electronic postings of appropriate National Register Nominations. Four
sample online National Register Nomination forms have been available
for some time from the
Ohio Historical Society. Recently, the National Register
Nomination Form for the
Thomas Stone Barn was added by the
Contact Steve Gordon
(Committee Chairperson and Ohio National Barn Alliance Representative)
for more information.
Public Television Listings for Airing of New Program:
"Wisconsin Barns: Touchstones to the
For over a decade, Wisconsin television producer and owner of
Kovia Productions Tom Laughlin, has been working on a television
documentary about Wisconsin barns. This half hour program looks at a
number of old, distinctive structures around the state, and offers a
look into the current status of the barn situation. Many people mourn
the loss of old barns and farm houses, making them feel a further
disconnect from the land; while others take on the task of renovating
a barn to breathe new life into it, for a variety of purposes and
applications. This program talks with restorers, and the people
helping them; visits with some farmers; stops in at a Wisconsin county
dairy breakfast; and provides a snapshot of some of the things going
on with a few old barns that are either being saved, or are still in
use. Additional interviews with historians, preservationists,
academics, and others are included. Check your local PBS Channel
listings for times and dates. Copies of the program can also be
purchased by calling Kovia Productions at 800-914-7913.
View a small
subset of Wisconsin barns documented through the Photographic Barn
A new section to the Barn Preservation Program website has been
added! Check out the start of a Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs) section (listed under Website Contents below).
Save $5 by
purchasing "Giving Old Barns New Life" publications now
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wisconsin Barns Painted Red?
How Many Round Barns Are Remaining in the State?
Is there Money
Available to Assist with the Preservation of My Barn?
of the Farm Security Act
Money to repair
culturally significant barns?
- an excerpt from
Wisconsin Preservation News- Summer 2000
Looking for Someone to Work on Your Barn?
Regional Educational Workshops
Technical Resource Materials
Related Barn Links
If you have any questions
or comments about the Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program Web Site
e-mail Chuck Law at firstname.lastname@example.org.