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.
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.