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Saving New York's Historic Barns

Some of New York’s oldest barns are getting facelifts this summer. The first round of grants under the $2 million State Barns Restoration and Preservation Program were handed out in June. They’ll fund more than a hundred barn projects in 48 counties—from 18th century horse barns to early 20th century Gothic dairy barns. Todd Moe visited a Canton family’s 1820 English threshing barn slated for restoration. Listen (Real 5:40).

Anne and David Clark's 1820 English Threshing Barn on their farm along highway 68 in the Town of Canton. It's slated for restoration work this fall under the State Barns Restoration and Preservation Program.

Hand-hewn timbers inside the Clark barn are in remarkably good shape after nearly 180 years.
The interior support beams reveal an era of remarkable craftsmanship and ingenuity.
The Clarks will use state grant money to repair their early 19th century barn. Exterior hickory planks will be replaced, a wood shingle roof will replace the tin and a milking parlor addition from the early 20th century will be removed.

Related Story: Interview with Steve Engelhart, an architectural heritage expert, about barns and their importance to our landscape and culture. Listen (Real 8:54).

For more information about historic barn restoration in New York:

The New York State Barn Coalition was formed in 1997 to increase public awareness of historic barns in the state and to promote the appreciation, preservation, rehabilitation , and reuse of older and historic barns. The Coalition sponsors meetings and conferences and shares information about barn preservation. Contact Tania Werbizky, Preservation League of New York State, (518) 462-5658 or (607) 272-6510;

And check out the New York State Barn Coalition website.