Join the Timber Framers Engineering Council for a behind-the scenes tour and discussion about the historic restoration of the Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms with Doug Porter, Jan Lewandowski, and Chris Carbone.
With the comprehensive restoration now complete, this tour and discussion will focus on timber framing applying historic and modern architecture and engineering lessons.
Porter led the multidisciplinary team that assessed the condition of the barn, which until 1939, held the title of the largest open span wooden structure in America.
The result of Porter’s survey work and testing resulted in the plan for the extensive restoration and rehabilitation of the barn, including dormers, windows, roof, walls, beams and foundation, which was completed in 2019.
Tour the building with us and join the discussion.
Doug Porter (School of Engineering, University of Vermont) is an architectural conservator who directs grant-funded research and training projects in cooperation with partners including the National Park Service, the United States Marine Corps, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Shelburne Farms National Historic Landmark, and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest.
Jan Lewandowski is a timber framer and preservationist living in Northern Vermont. He and his crew specialize in the restoration of wooden bridges, church trusses and steeples and other historic heavy timber, and have done so for over 40 years. Jan is the author of a great number of articles on framing, published in various journals but notably Timber Framing and co-author of the book Historic American Roof Trusses (2007).
Chris Carbone has been with Bensonwood since 2003 and leads the engineering department. He is recognized as an innovator in wood based, off-site construction systems, and has presented at numerous conferences and institutions promoting the use of wood as a key element in modern building structures and enclosures.
About the Breeding Barn: The Shelburne Farms Breeding Barn, a National Historic Landmark, is a monumental example of the estate architecture that appeared in North America near the end of the nineteenth century. It was built from 1889 to 1891 to showcase W. Seward Webb's grand horse breeding operation. With an interior exercise ring 375 feet long, it was the largest open-span wooden structure in America until 1939.
Seward's dream was to breed an ideal Hackney horse for Vermont farmers, but by 1904 the enterprise had largely failed. In 1913, Seward and Lila Webb deeded land that included the Breeding Barn and Old Dairy Barn to their eldest son. The Breeding Barn was then used sporadically for fox hunts, polo, hay storage and to shelter cattle.
In 1994, Shelburne Farms reacquired the two magnificent barns and 400 surrounding acres. Work then began to save the Breeding Barn, reinforcing its structure and replacing its roof.
About Shelburne Farms
About The Engineering Council, Timber Framers Guild