Park City's other historic white barn is set to be part of a major remodeling project this summer. Known commonly as the Wallin Barn, the farm is owned by the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, who will be spearheading the effort.
The 107-acre farm is located on the east side of S.R. 224 and is smaller but no less historic than the better known white barn at the McPolin Farm.
According to the history of the Wallin barn posted on Swaner's website, the farm was first bought by the Kimball family, who owned a stagecoach service that went between Park City and Salt Lake City. The stone house was built around 1900 and the property went through several owners before being purchased by the Fletcher family in 1906.
Robert Fletcher built the barn in 1933 and the Wallin family became owners in 1948. Swaner then purchased it in 2003. The barn is of the Intermountain style, a design common in the region.
In 2010, Swaner partnered with Utah State University, at which point Swaner Executive Director Jon Paulding said an assessment of all the projects on the preserve was needed. The barn was one of the priorities.
"We wanted to raise some funds to restore the exterior of the barn," Paulding said.
The restoration project will come in phases if all goes according to plan, he added. The first phase, set to begin Aug. 1, will give the barn a new metal roof, put a fresh coat of paint on the exterior and repair all of the windows.
In addition, Swaner would like to install benches by the nearby trails accompanied by interpretive signs that give visitors a bit of history about the landscape as well as what is ecologically significant in the area.
Paulding says Swaner is in the process of reviewing bids on the roof and is currently raising money from private donors for the rest of the project.
"We welcome any other community support," Paulding said. "We still need to raise $20,000 to $25,000 to complete all of the work."
Swaner's 'Phase 2' for the project is more of a "dream or a hope" according to Paulding, and it involves restoring the entire barn so that it can be used for special events. The barn could be used for Swaner programs, and would be rented out for private events.
Paulding wants to recognize the funding partners that have helped thus far with the project, including the main donor, the American Express Foundation, which donated $30,000 through its Historic Preservation Fund. Other prominent donors include the Walbridge Foundation, the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club, the Fox Point Condominium Association and others.
Part of the project this summer will involve a redirecting of the trails near the barn away from the building for safety reasons. Paulding says this may become a permanent rerouting, and could happen prior to the commencement of construction in late July. Swaner will be working on the detour with Snyderville Basin Recreation District, which oversees the maintenance of the trail.
When USU merged with Swaner, the school had a loan on the EcoCenter building and the Wallin Barn project was not a top funding priority. Paulding explains that the project has become more important now.
"We're now raising the money and making it a priority," Paulding said. "We're closer to achieving our goal of paying off the EcoCenter."
Paulding says Swaner sees itself as the "steward" of the farm property, as it is one of the last remaining farms in the Park City area.
"We want to make sure we can preserve that remnant of Park City's past," Paulding said. "It will become a facility that be enjoyed by the community."
Paulding says Swaner has received a wonderful response from the community on this project but is still looking for additional financial donors. For more information on the Swaner Barn project or to donate or volunteer, visit www.swanerecocenter.org.