Old houses and history equal old-fashioned? No way! Here are five “hip-storical” reasons to attend the Old House and Barn Expo
New Old Buildings at the Old House and Barn Expo
At a session on mid-20th century architecture on March 25th and at exhibits on the show floor, folks will be talking about the newest old buildings. According to exhibitor Sally Zimmerman of Historic New England, “mid-century homes can offer an affordable alternative to first-time homebuyers in established suburbs: younger buyers appreciate the open floor plans, retro look, and smaller footprints of 1960s ranch houses and often they’re the least pricy options in desirable neighborhoods.” She noted that mid-century homes often have naturalistic settings with mature trees and plantings that add interest and privacy. “Adding on takes some skill,” Zimmerman cautioned, “but the modular nature of their original design can allow for enlargements in a vocabulary that is once again popular.”
Made in the Shade Spaces for Old Homes
Life can be relaxing and enjoyable on the porch or in the garden, right? Presenters Gillian Lang and Henry Homeyer – and exhibitors – will offer historical perspectives and advice on these important, hip parts of homes we love.
Cool Cats for Barn Owners
Pope Memorial SPCA Concord-Merrimack County will be at the show to inform attendees about barn cat adoption and care. The Preservation Alliance’s members who are barn and barn cat owners report that their daily routine of barn cat care helps them keep track of barn maintenance issues. The cats also help control rodent population, and are fun to have around.
New Craft, Place and Preservation Perspectives from Experts
You’ll have a chance to connect with many local and national stars of the preservation and heritage world at the Expo:
- Meet Tom McLaughlin, the new host of NHPBS’s Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking, and watch his demonstration with hand tools;
- Enjoy hearing ideas on the importance of place and preservation with Steve Taylor, farmer and former commissioner of N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, and New Hampshire authors Howard Mansfield, Joe Monninger and John Clayton;
- Learn how to “read” old buildings with Dr. James Garvin, architectural historian and award-winning author of A Building History of Northern New England;
- Gain understanding of stone wall building with Kevin Gardner, teacher, stone mason and author of Granite Kiss and his new Stone Building;
- Take away advice about gardening with your grandparents favorites from Henry Homeyer, garden columnist and commentator; and
- Learn about the evolution of timber frames in New England from Jim DeStefano, structural engineer, architect and author of Antique New England Homes and Barns and buy a chance to win a timber frame shed assembled at the show by members of the Timber Framers Guild.
Expo exhibitors and presenters advise about “go local” and sustainability every day. New Hampshire contractors and designers report an uptick of client interest in local materials. Sue Booth of Vintage Kitchens notes that her customers like to use local lumber for floors and millwork, and that native plants are popular for gardens. She said that it is easy to source local talent in addition to local materials. “We are also lucky to have so many talented craftsmen who can make hardware, cabinets, weathervanes, murals and more,” she added. Booth described the Expo as a “big farmer’s market of old house products and services.”