On Sunday, January 24, we joined with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance to celebrate historic barns and talk preservation. The session featured three national barn experts and an award-winning fiddle player, followed by a breakout room where we continued the conversation.


  • Thomas C. Hubka, author of Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (The Boston Globe called his book “an unexpected masterpiece . . . that has some of the suspense of a detective story and, at times, the poignance of deeply felt, sympathetic social history.”)
  • Thomas D. Visser, Professor of Historic Preservation, is the director of the graduate Historic Preservation Program at the University of Vermont. His publications include the Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings and Porches of North America.
  • John Porter served New Hampshire as a Dairy Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension for over 30 years and continues to advise farmers on structures and farmstead planning. He is also the author of Preserving Old Barns: Preventing the Loss of a Valuable Resource.
  • Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki grew up with contra dance and Celtic music and has written soundtracks for audiobooks and television, appeared as a guest on over 75 albums, and performs throughout the Northeast.
  • Facilitated by Lorraine S. Merrill. Merrill and her family own and operate a dairy farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. She served as commissioner of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food and is also a journalist and technical writer, Merrill and two collaborators produced a book and documentary in 2020 titled, “Communities and Consequences II: Rebalancing New Hampshire’s Human Ecology.”
The Link Stable

In keeping with the barn theme, we’ve rounded up useful links and shared them below. To receive preservation updates, advocacy alerts and notifications about future webinars and events, be sure to sign up for our e-news.

Click here for the recording of the barn webinar..Rewatch at your leisure or share with fellow barn preservation fans.

Click here for the recording of the Pennsylvania break out room.

Find books by the speakers at the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance website shop.

Our colleagues in NEW HAMPSHIRE and VERMONT have a wealth of barn-related resources on their websites.

The National Barn Alliance is a useful resource for all things barn, from learning about barns to documenting or maintaining them.  Click here for their roundup of state-by-state surveys mentioned during the webinar. (The link for the Pennsylvania study is below: Pennsylvania Agricultural Field Guide Project.)

In Pennsylvania, check out the Historic Barn & Farm Foundation (HBFF). Mark and Jeff talked about the work they do and Preservation Pennsylvania will be collaboorating with them on the development of their grant program.

Find the Pennsylvania Agricultural Field Guide project at the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office website. “The purpose of the agricultural field guide is to introduce common house, barn, landscape, outbuilding, and archaeological features of Pennsylvania’s agricultural regions.” The guide includes sections dedicated to house and barn types, barn features, outbuilding types, landscape elements and archaeological features.

The Timber Framers Guild was recommended in answer to a question about local in-person meetings. The guild regularly holds its conference in Pennsylvania and offers workshops on documentation and other topics as well as hands-on techniques, such as their reconstruction of a missing sawmill at a historic property. Visit the website for their documentary video about a community-building project in Pennsylvania.

Our 2020 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards honored the Historic Gettysburg Adams County Preservation Society‘s Barn Preservation Project with our Henry A. Jordan Honor Award. Watch the award video and visit their website to learn more!

Suggestion Box

Attendees at our Pennsylvania breakout room discussion asked for help. Do you have expertise to share? Post in the comments below or send us an email!

  • Someone researching and restoring a silo needs information on and sources for salt-glazed tiles. Do you have the expertise she needs?
  • The issue of “suburbarns” is very topical — barns in the suburbs that have lost their land and are now surrounded by houses or townhomes. Do you have imaginative, sustainable reuse ideas?

During Preservation Pennsylvania’s breakout session, Executive Director Mindy Crawford talked about the years of effort and expense it took for Preservation Pennsylvania to preserve the Star Barn (pictured below in its “before” condition) and the organization’s ongoing work to provide advice and education to protect and save special places across the state.

The Star Barn was one of our early Pennsylvania At Risk listings, and we recently offered a one-day symposium on preserving barns and agricultural heritage, with a free public screening of a documentary on Pennsylvania’s barns for the local community.

Our advocacy work has created and saved the state historic preservation tax credit, and we’ll further explore the idea of a barn tax exemption that was discussed in the breakout session.

If you believe in the power of preservation and find value in educational webinars, we ask you to support our work and consider becoming a member of Preservation Pennsylvania or making a donation of any size.


A white barn features a giant star set in a gable and a cupola. It is in sorry condition after years of neglect. Years of effort and expense on the part of Preservation Pennsylvania saved the barn.
Photo of the Star Barn in its “before” condition, as Preservation Pennsylvania worked to save it. Wikimedia Commons Photo by JoeRed

January’s Barn Preservation webinar was presented by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance with the National Barn Alliance, Maine Preservation, Preservation Connecticut, Preservation League of New York State, Preservation Massachusetts, Preservation Pennsylvania, Preserve Rhode Island and Preservation Trust of Vermont.

four new stamps feature barns representing architectural types from across the country. Help spread the message about barn preservation!

About the Postal Service’s new stamps
The four new postcard “Forever” stamps celebrate the beauty and history of American barns. Each stamp represents one of the four seasons: a round barn in the warm glow of fall, a gambrel-roofed barn in summer, a forebay barn in the spring, and a Western barn on a winter’s night. Stamps are available for order from the United States Postal Service.

Get the message out about barn preservation!