About The Book
In April of 2014 at the offices of Rizzoli Publications in New York, the the photographers met with editor Doug Curran to discuss the focus of a book about timber frame barns in the Northeastern United States. Hudson Valley photographer Brandt Bolding who has lived in a timber frame barn home for many years suggested to Doug the direction should simply be barns renovated for residential living as this is an ever increasing lifestyle choice not only for thousands of homeowners all across America, but throughout the world. This was agreed on and thus was the beginning of the book that would become "At Home In The American Barn". Following that meeting Mr. Bolding set out to find a unique selection of barn homes that would run the gamut of exterior and interior design ideas and practices – as well as unique and varied historical architectural form. He reviewed over a hundred barns, visiting many on a number of road trips and site visits throughout New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts,and Pennsylvania. This wonderfully curated selection along with some previously sourced shows the reader the wide realm of possibilities in renovating and restoring America's remarkable wood timber barns.
The barns include the following types: Dutch barn, perhaps the earliest barn type built in America ca early 1620’s, English-American hybrids, Pennsylvania bank barns, and a few unique hybrids. Among the Dutch barns included in this group is one of the earliest surviving in America, the late 17th c. Garret Cornelius van Ness barn originally located in North Hoosick, NY. Another from Schoharie Co., NY transported to Connecticut – has become the envelope housing a beautiful swimming pool with antique French limestone barn flooring. Perhaps the most extraordinary is the Goodman barn residence refashioned by Harvard architecture professor Preston Scott Cohen with exterior detailing that harkens back to Walter Gropius and a hollow steel exoskeleton that surrounds the frame and holds the simple gray flush board cladding. Litchfield Co., CT is home to one of two large American/English hybrid barn frames one with an interior of a superb mid-century modern furniture and a massive infinity pool that looks out over a vast rolling farm field. Another in Ghent, NY with the air of the clean contemporary aesthetic of designer Christian Liagre also has superb traditional architectural details by the Chatham, New York architect Kate Johns. A large hybrid in Ottsville, PA masterfully reimagined by architect Matthew Millan has a large cylindrical metal mesh corn crib attached to the rear of the house via a suspended walkway that serves as the summer dining room. Among the Pennsylvania bank barns in Bucks County, PA featured, is a ultra contemporary Italian furnished wood-clad bank barn with a silo containing a meditation space, as well a traditional PA stone bank barn with a large Palladian window on one gable elevation, that often serves as a concert hall for the renowned Concordia Chamber Players . Hybrid barns include a large dairy barn with a 200’ upper floor space with a semicircular vaulted ceiling that once was used a photo studio by an Academy Award winner – with interior architecture and design reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi in its organic shapes. A simple cedar shingled barn set in the flat potato fields of Eastern Long Island has a wonderful pool and timber trellis covered outdoor dining area. In Accord, NY a small antique wood clad barn used as a work space at the magnificent Westwind Orchard was restored by a prominent NY fashion photographer and his wife with a spare mid-century modern effect . Lastly, a small but special converted calving barn in Dutchess County, NY originally made from the remnants of timbers from early 18th c. barns. The interiors now painted a fresh white and furnished with mostly antiques, it serves as the weekend residence for a furnishing textile design director and her family.