Unique Northeast Iowa Barn Was Almost Lost To The Elements
If you are driving through the cornfields in West Liberty, Iowa, be on the lookout for this unique, octagonal barn.
The Secrest 1883 Octagonal Barn is one of the barns that Rich Tyler has been working to restore. He bought the barn back in 1993, and from then he started the restoration project.
When he bought the barn, it was falling down, but today, Tyler encourages people to do more than just drive by. The barn is the perfect destination for events. People have held weddings, parties, dances, art exhibits, fashion shows, and even picnics.
So why restore an old barn?
In an old article in Farm News, Tyler says that it's cheaper to restore a barn than to just build a brand new one. He adds that restoration doesn't mean you bring it back to its original state, there is room to be "clever" in how you restore them.
A lot of barns can be renovated in very clever ways, not just for farming and storage, but for new businesses. I’ve seen antique shops, factories, stores, and shops. There are a lot of applications.
Barns, he says, are both a part of Iowa's heritage and can have tourism potential.
The barn was originally built by George Frank Longerbeam for a local farmer; Joshua Hunt Secrest.
Pacific Post & Beam says this project represented the Western Expansion of the United States, the Golden Age of Agriculture, and the Depression.
The barn is a unique piece of Iowa and of the United States heritage. It is one of the oldest barns in the United States.