Yes, There Is Such A Thing As “Barn Of The Year”

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There are awards for a lot of things. But who knew there was a “Barn of the Year” award? Well, there is – and it’s award by the Michigan Barn Preservation Network. Established in 1995, The MBPN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting appreciation, preservation and rehabilitation of Michigan barns, farmsteads and rural communities.

This year, the award in the “Non-Profit Agricultural or Adaptive Use” category went to a bright yellow, 100-year-old beauty at Oakland University.

According to Oakland University, OU Facilities Management oversaw the renovations, which took place between 2014 and 2015.

The effords included straightening the barn’s posture and repurposing the usable planks to rebuild and restructure the barn. A new foundation was put in place, along with new cedar roof shingles and new cupolas, which protrude from the barn’s roof, as well as a fresh coating of “Light Mellow” yellow paint.

“Research was done on the original look and paint color,” OU associate vice president for Facilities Management Terry Stollsteimer said. “We engaged Geoffrey Upward, executive director of Meadow Brook, to investigate the history and background of the structure, and we took steps to ensure the structure would last another 100 years. It is very rewarding to know that the community supports that effort.”

The barn was judged based on seven criteria:

  • Photogenicity – architectural character, condition of exterior, setting, quality of pictures
  • Integrity – feeling, amount of historic fabric present, quality of changes made (excluding setting)
  • Uniqueness – degree of distinction, if any
  • Rehab: Heroic effort – scale of project, amount of work (framing, siding, roof, paint, utilities) regardless of results
  • Rehab: Thoroughness – degree of completion, details (including setting)
  • Rehab: Creativity – solutions to plan/design/construction problems
  • Merit – awarded for something extra not accounted for in other categories

OU’s barn was rated highest in its category for all seven criteria.

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