Park City secures vote for extensive work at iconic white barn |

Park City secures vote for extensive work at iconic white barn


The Park City Historic Preservation Board recently voted in favor of a plan for improvements at the City Hall-owned McPolin Farm. The panel s chair says the work is expected to have little impact on the historic structure along the S.R. 224 entryway. Jake Shane/Park Record

Park City officials recently secured a vote needed to proceed with extensive work at the iconic white barn along the S.R. 224 entryway and plan to start the upgrades in the middle of June.

It will be a high-profile project in terms of visibility with thousands of vehicles passing the McPolin Farm each day as well as in terms of City Hall’s longtime preservation efforts given the barn’s status as Park City’s most recognizable historic building.

The Historic Preservation Board, a City Hall panel with duties in Old Town and other historic locations, approved work as part of a historic district design review of the project. An approval is an important step in the City Hall process regulating work on historic structures. According to the Park City Planning Department, the vote allows the temporary removal of material from the barn. That will allow the crews to make structural upgrades inside the building. The structural upgrades are an important part of the overall project, which is meant to improve safety. The upgrades, officials say, will guard against a collapse.

Hannah Turpen, the City Hall planner assigned to the barn application, said the crews will remove strips of the roof measuring between four feet and six feet in width one at a time. The removal of the roof strips will allow access for the structural upgrades. They will later be put back in place with new shingles, she said.

Turpen said the project will also include the removal of boards that are now placed over some windows. Those windows will be replaced with ones that better resemble the ones there historically, she said.

"This is the best preservation practice we can do for the barn," Turpen said. "It’s the least invasive way."

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The structural upgrades will involve the installation of a steel frame and footings inside. The footings, which secure a building to the ground, will be attached to the steel frame. Roof trusses will also be put inside. Matt Twombly, the City Hall project manager overseeing the work, has said the work will be visible from the outside. The barn is not open to the public based on safety concerns and the planned upgrades are not meant to make it a habitable building.

The barn at the end of the work, though, is expected to appear much as it does today other than the reappearance of the windows.

The work is anticipated to cost approximately $1 million and last four months.

David White, an architect who is the chair of the Historic Preservation Board, said in an interview the panel’s concerns were alleviated as staffers explained the project.

"It’s going to have very little impact on the historic structure of the barn," White said. "And that’s why the board was very, very happy and everyone voted for the work to begin."