Monday, December 19, 2005
My relationship with the old barn didn't begin until after it ended it's life of usefulness. The renters moved out of the farmhouse and it was demolished, the basement filled in leaving no footprint that a house had ever existed.
In the late fall I decided to start photographing the barn. It stands on a small piece of land owned by the Village. The remainder of the land is in development, million dollar mansions being built on the open farmland. The villages' original plan was to convert the barn to a village hall and community center, but when the price tag for renovation came in at well over a million dollars, the plans were abandoned.
It's ironic that an area that will soon boast mega-million dollars in residential properties cannot bear the burden of the barn rehab. Our small community is home to only two businesses, and only one of those, the gas station on Route 64, collects sales tax.
Small communities such as ours represents local government in its smallest garden variety. There are about 750 residents, but certainly that includes pets and livestock. We struggle to maintain the 8 miles of roads that fall to our responsibility. There's no police force or fire station, those services are provided by the county. And so it is that we chose to build a more affordable village hall and contracted a firm to dismantel the old barn.
The Flemish bond brick foundation is all that remains. This property will be a park for our village, and they are hoping to include the foundation as part of the plan.
I'm not sure there are more than a dozen people who remember what this milking room looked like before it was transformed into an empty shell. I'm glad to be one of them.