by Michael R. Allen
On Saturday, January 23, a group of barn owners, architectural historians and craftspeople met near New Bloomfield, Missouri, to discuss creating a new statewide preservation group focused on rural structures. Bill Hart, Field Representative for Missouri Preservation, called the meeting. Bill and Susan Miller graciously hosted the meeting at their home, a bright red barn that they have converted into a unique home. The group had the honor of the wise counsel of Osmund Overby, the dean of Missouri’s preservation movement, and farmer and humorist Lewis Baumgartner, the “World’s Worst Farmer.”
Meeting participants decided to launch a new organization, the Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network. Preliminary goals include a statewide survey of barns and farms, educational programs and development of a resource clearinghouse for owners of rural structures in need of technical assistance and skilled contractors.
The group will meet again in early May. Those wishing to participate should send an e-mail to Bill Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, Bill will be discussing the new organization and its goals at a brown bag lunch talk at Architecture St. Louis, 911 Washington #170, starting at noon on Friday, March 12th.