Monday, September 28, 2009

Reclaiming the barn

Jay cleaned out the top floor of the red barn last week, making its lines sharper and the possibilities for 'remodeling' more visible. It is a cavernous space, some 40' square, on three different levels. The large central area could be used as a dance floor if the rough oak boards were sanded or covered. And a few steps down, there is a potential bunkhouse, about 40' x 10'. The pigeons that were roosting in the roof seem to have moved out, which is good news. Their guano line down the middle of the floor started eating into the wood. I now imagine that central space as a gallery cum seminar room, at least in clement weather. Currently it's open to the elements in various degrees, with the large loading bay in the front, and gaps between the vertical oak siding on the other walls. In the summer the gentle breeze keeps everything cool. The dutch barn design was ideal for loose hay. Now, as a barn it's obsolete. But as an architectural structure, it's pretty impressive.

But there is one problem. It still smells of goat. A little while back I fenced off most of the ground floor where they had enjoyed a free run. Today I raided unused fence-lines for 12' stock fencing, and sealed off their last gathering place. They still have the bull pen and the chicken coop for shelter. But now the barn can begin to sweeten up. One day I will clear out all the straw inside, and re-imagine the whole building. Then the dust would begin to recede too.