52 Barns in 52 Weeks

Many, many thanks to all who helped make our 52 Barns in 52 Weeks initiative a success!

  The flood of calls and emails for our 2017 barn preservation initiative  was much greater than we anticipated. People have expressed their affection and concern for these landmarks of hard work and community, and thanks to you and others around the state, we raised over $120,000 for this work.

As you know, this help is timely and important. There is a big bubble of need and potential barn loss ahead due to deferred maintenance and development pressures.  And barns are part of the landscapes that residents and visitors love about New Hampshire.  Last year, we provided:

·    Direct service (phone and on-site coaching) to over 200 barn owners for help with how to get started, RSA 79D tax incentive, re-use options and other topics.

·    Sold-out educational workshops with attendee sentiments such as “I’m now prepared to take on my project” and “this was the inspiration I needed.”

·    Fifty-two barn assessment grants to property owners around the state to help them move projects forward. (This was more than twice as many as we expected to give, made possible by generous donors like you and contractors “paying it forward.”

A little on the who and what:

·     We helped barns of all styles and age, all over the state, and long-time owners as well as new stewards.

·     More than 52 barns are making preservation progress. Owners are addressing typical problems like moisture and water infiltration by removing overgrown vegetation and addressing grading and roof concerns, and structural repairs related to foundations and frame deterioration.

·     We answered lots of questions about RSA79D,and helped many folks get started on projects that had felt overwhelming with practical, phased plans.  We were happy to match some needy barns to some new owners too!

·     Wondering how folks are using their old barns? Exciting plans include getting the barn back in shape for farm use – for livestock, agricultural equipment storage local CSAs (community-supported agriculture).  New uses are also in the works – such as a coffee and wine shop, Irish step dancing floor rehearsal space, ceramic art studio, and event spaces. There is a barn owner working for a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a town-owned barn being used to bring the community together.

We’re continuing our commitment to barn preservation; see out Barn Resources page for help. Our 2018 plans include robust communications of the 52 and “lessons learned” in many venues, additional educational opportunities, continuation of our barn assessment grant program and the reprinting of “Preserving Old Barns.” We’re also exploring new pre-development, match-making and stewardship strategies and new ways of working with agriculture, community development and conservation groups.  Donate to support our work, and please contact Beverly Thomas  with any questions or suggestions, and thank you!

Donate to Old Farms & Barns

Links to Pages Within Our Donate Section