I grew up in Lansing, New York and for a significant portion of my life I have been an observer of the conversion of fields and open space to housing lots and subdivisions. I have also been a quiet chronicler of the loss of barns and outbuildings. I am heartened that a few barns from my childhood remain.
Both of these are still in the family. The horse barn, owned by my cousin, is being used primarily for storage. The dairy barn, owned by my brother, is now serving multiple uses: as a family gathering spot, to store hay, as a garage to work on tractors, as a playground, as a place for a new rock band to practice. The third barn was on the next farm over and was owned by an aunt and uncle. I have recently purchased the barn and my plans for its use are still developing.
I now consider these simply “the three barns.” They are basically within sight of one another. They now tell a different and story from 100 or even 25 years ago. They appeal to me on several levels: historically, architecturally, and as a student of sociology and community and economic development.
Posted by Rod Howe, a NYS Barn Coalition Board member