Barns (26)

Hallig Home in Northern Germany

Hallig Habel during “land unter,” a local term describing the flooding of the Halligs during storms when just the houses stick out of the water. Thirty years ago, when this picture was taken, the house was inhabited by a farmer. His sheep and cattle spent their nights in the lower story. In extreme storms, when the lower story was flooded, the farmer would bring his animals upstairs. Photo by Hans Joachim Kürtz

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My America

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On a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

  • 50 Years of Natural Building
  • A book on my trips
  • A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the U.S.A. popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s–’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; pressmen at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers, skateboarders, lawyers, and bankers (yes — there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…

This just may be the next book: the glass-half-full take on America.

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New Mexico Apartment Barn by DC Builders of Damascus, Oregon

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Hello!

My name is Rikki Ford, I work with DC Builders in Oregon. We love your blog and the “shelters” that you post daily. We would love to be a post on your blog in the near future. We specialize in a unique product of custom barns and barn style homes, but our apartment barn hybrids are the quirkier projects that we take on. I thought this project below might be of interest to you and your audience. Please let me know what you think.

Talk soon,
–Rikki Ford

taos-nm-barn-living-quarters-14“This apartment barn was built by DC Builders, based out of Damascus, Oregon. This barn with upstairs living quarters has four horse stalls with Classic Equine stall fronts and dutch doors with a 12′ × 24′ tack room, including a half-bath and solar-powered radiant heat in the slab. This home/barn hybrid is a unique way to utilize space and resources.”

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Curved Roof Barn in Oregon

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From our Tumblr
Photo by Lloyd Kahn

During my bookstore tour in Oregon in June, I took a few days off to drive around in the Willamette Valley (south of Portland) to hunt for barns. It’s a beautiful area, kind of like a mini-Sacramento Valley — flat, rich farmland, abundant water, with steep mountain ranges on 3 sides. I spotted this barn with it’s gracefully curved roof and did my usual trespassing to shoot the exterior.
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Round Roof Barn

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Round roof barn in Willamette Valley, Oregon

There are buildings that have — for lack of a better word — a sweetness to them. Like a small abandoned cottage in an English field I once found, slowly disintegrating back into the soil from which all its materials came. Inside, I could feel the lives that had been lived there. Or the buildings of master carpenter Lloyd House. It happens most frequently in barns, where practicality and experience create form with function. No architects needed, thank you.
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