Photos: Two Barns, One Gets Second Life

A barn gets dismantled, awaiting a second life in another state

Last fall, architect Chuck Bultman wrote a remarkable piece for The Chronicle about the preservation of barns. Near the end of that article, Bultman describes a pair of barns on Scio Church Road, west of Zeeb. And he speculates that they might have been built around the same time.

Scio Church Two Barns

Scio Church Road: Two Barns (Images by Chuck Bultman, link to higher resolution file.)

Bultman also wrote that he’d noticed a hole in the roof of one of the barns: “So I tried to reach the owners to let them know that their asset is at risk. And so far, I have not heard back – maybe something is being planned and workers are lining up to repair it or salvage it, but I do not know, and it is not for me to decide.”

But over the spring, a decision was made – which a week ago led to a Friday evening gathering of Bultman’s friends and associates at the site of those barns. One of the barns stood with its siding removed, its frame laid bare. Wrote Bultman in an email to me: “It is our plan to toast this barn’s first life, and consider its second.”

Its second life will begin in the Pittsburgh area, where Bultman will help transform the re-assembled timbers into a home for one of his clients. The disassembly of the frame and restoration of the wood will be handled by Rudy Christian and his wife Laura, whose shop is in Burbank, Ohio.

Although Bultman had speculated that the two barns on the property were built at the same time, Christian estimated that the barn he’s dismantling dates to the 1830s, while the other one is post-Civil War.

Chronicle publisher Mary Morgan and I took a break from writing about local government to join Chuck on that Friday, and documented the occasion with some photos.

Barn Photos


Barn Scio Church Road ladder

Ladder in the Scio Church Road barn.

Barn Scio Church Road

Scio Church Road barn.

Scio Church Barn Ribs

Roof ribs of the Scio Church Road barn.

Scio Church Road Barn angle-west-face-small

West face of the Scio Church Road barn.

Scio Church Barn view from underneath

Scio Church Road barn.

Giant Dictionary

A dusty old dictionary abandoned in the basement of the Scio Church Road barn.


  1. By c bultman
    June 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | permalink


    Thanks for ‘printing’ this and for all of the thoughtful work that you and Mary do day in and day out.

    If I may however I would like to make one clarification. Rudy Christian will be restoring this barn and reassembling it at its new site in Pennsylvania. However the barn is being dismantled by a more local ‘barn guy’. His name is Tim Wiles and he is from Howell.

    Rudy Christian was in AA that Friday to see the barn for the first time and to supervise the measuring and documentation of the it; a critical activity when you are going to disassemble something and not see it together again until after you have built a foundation for it.

    Oh, and when that day comes we celebrate again.

  2. By Bob Martel
    June 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm | permalink

    I saw this barn the other day in its skeletal state. I’m pleased to learn that while we will lose the barn, it will be put to good use by someone who I am sure will enjoy it very much!

  3. By C bultman
    June 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm | permalink

    I should also point out that this barn was destined to be taken down as the property owner wants his site cleared. Only after learning that the owner had engaged a demolition company did we approach him about salvaging the barn instead. Had he wanted to keep his barn we would not have asked to reuse it.