Letter: A more practical idea for Avon barn

As an outside observer, I was fascinated to read John LaConte’s article describing the Avon Council’s reaction to moving and renovating the Hahnewald barn to the old Town Hall site. On one hand, it has historical and sentimental value having survived 100 years at its present location. On the other hand, it is a huge structure that is difficult to move and will dwarf anything in the neighborhood.  That, plus a June 1 deadline complicates plans to save it.

It seems to me the council has two viable options: Go to the voters now to approve a multi-million dollar bond issue to save and renovate the barn; or salvage the barn board and log materials and put them to use in an appropriate structure.  The barn would live on but in a different form. Spending $390,000 for a temporary barn move to buy time would seem to be an unwise expenditure, especially if the voters turned down the bond issue.

Personally, I think commissioner Alex Dammeyer has a more practical idea. “Take the wood, store it and then reassemble it with new structural walls.” This would save the barn’s value within the required time constraint and allow time for planning an ultimate use of the materials. I’m reminded of the TV program called “Barnwood Builders,” where a crew dismantles historic barns and puts the materials to good use building other structures. It’s an interesting process and seems to work.

Dave Mott


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