Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Mile Barn Project

Standing on a busy corner near my son's middle school, the barn above most reminds me of the barns I played in as a child. Slowly deteriorating, fading, not long for this world. My childhood barns are long gone, victims of urban sprawl as I suppose this barn will soon be too.

It makes me sad to think of losing barns because I have a special fondness for them due to my many years playing in barns as a child. They remind me of a connectedness to not only the land I knew growing up but also to those people I shared those times with. My parents and siblings, my friends, grandparents, and cousins. A time so obviously gone by, but also still very much here in the memories I retrieve each time I pass a barn in my life today.

Because of the connections and memories that barns invoke for many people, I believe that they are a valuable resource that should be protected. One day last week I decided to see exactly how many barns there were in a one mile radius of my home and I was surprised to discover there were thirteen. Upon further investigation, I discovered a fantastic book called "Built for Farming: A Guide to the Historic Rural Architecture of Kane County" which is a survey of all the rural structures in my county conducted as part of the county's historic preservation plan.
Obviously I am not alone in wanting to preserve my rural heritage. Kane County recognizes the pressures development is putting on rural structures and has a historic preservation plan in place that will hopefully minimize the negative impacts of growth upon them. So that not only I, but future generations can continue to find connections to this land we now live on.

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