A treasure restored

A treasure restored. Lonely and abandoned, this Gordon-Van Tine kit barn sat waiting to be rescued when photographed in 2013. Built by Paul Jens in 1921 at a cost of $2,600 as a horse barn, it was later used for hogs in the 1960s-1970s.

Owen Jens of rural Glenwood, grandson of Paul, took on the restoration project in 2014. The two photos below illustrate the roofing progress using interlocking powder-coated steel shingles. Note the painter in the photo on the right restoring the ventilator.

Just months before restoration was completed in 2017, Owen died of cancer after a short illness. Travis Sell, the current owner, uses it for storage of hay, but his future plans include horses.

It’s a great save! Below are two photos taken in November 2020.

A brick marvel!!

It’s in Pottawattamie County between Silver City and Treynor. Everyone in the area recognizes it but may not know that it is missing any occupants today. (See page 278 of Iowa Barns Yesterday and Today for more of the story.)

Here’s an amazing view of the inside. The “ceiling” consists of bricks while the foundation, as well as the upper section leading to the cupola, consists of hollow clay times. The roof is made up of smaller clay tiles. The result is a double layer of tiles and bricks. Wow! That’s a heavy load.

It’s an engineering marvel, and almost 103 years later is still standing with just a few missing tiles and window glass. A nearby structure, seen below, is the dome of the cistern once used as a water supply.