Barn Survey Examples

Documenting Historic Barns for Future Generations

Barn surveys and documentation are some of our best ways to learn about their construction and history. Measured drawings, photographs, field notes and archival research all contribute to a building survey. See a variety of survey examples below to learn more and inspire your own barn documentation project!


At the Local Level:

Historic Gettysburg-Adams County Barn Preservation Project

In 2005, the Historic Gettysburg-Adams County preservation society received a grant from the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (known as the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission) to establish a barn preservation program that began with an architectural survey. “Teams of HGAC volunteers photographed, measured and made observations about the style and construction techniques used on each barn,” as Curt Mussellman explains in a reflective post on the effort. Led by volunteers, this barn preservation program has created a county-wide barn registry, provides annual grants to barn owners, and continues to build awareness of the value of saving barns at the local level.  for more information on this program, check out the Historic Gettysburg-Adams County Barn Preservation Project website.

At the Regional Level:

Tobacco Barn Preservation Project

In 2009, Preservation Virginia – the statewide non-profit preservation organization – identified tobacco barns in Southside Virginia as one of the most endangered historic properties and created the Tobacco Barn Preservation Project to raise awareness about this important barn type. Their program included an architectural survey, oral history project, public workshops on barn repair, and a middle school poster context to raise awareness about these iconic assets of the rural landscape. By 2018, Preservation Virginia had documented more than 250 tobacco barns, recorded dozens of oral histories, led a series of hands-on workshops, and allocated small grants to more than a dozen of the area’s oldest, unique, and most iconic barns. Recently, Preservation Virginia launched an interactive website detailing the project’s work!

At the State Level:

Historic Barns of Connecticut

Beginning in 2005, the State Historic Preservation Office of Connecticut (known as the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation) led an effort to document historic barns across the Constitution State with the help of preservation-minded volunteers and a grant from the state Humanities Council. By 2010, all of the barns in the state had been recorded. Information gathered on the construction and history of these buildings was used to identify unique and significant barns eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and to create a state registry to highlight these great heritage resources.  Today, a database of these resources is accessible to all barn lovers for research and general interest!

Highlighted Barns from Orange and Caroline County, Virginia

This joint publication between the National Barn Alliance and the University of Mary Washington was produced for the National Barn Alliance 2013 Winter Meeting. Included is documentation on three barns including history, context, photographs, and drawings. A thorough investigation into a featured selection of Virginia’s agricultural history.

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