Steeple And Star #14911

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The Story

The star and steeple of the newly rebuilt Star Barn are shown here in gleaming white in a black and white infrared photograph. This Gothic Revival barn has been a Pennsylvania landmark for decades with its signature steeple spire and star-shaped main ventilator. Not surprisingly, this barn became very well known because this high steeple could easily be seen daily by thousands of travelers from an interstate running fifty feet behind the original property. Such a large dramatic landmark was hard to miss!

Originally built in 1877, the barn survived by working until farming around it stopped due to encroaching development of modern homes and highways. Afterward, it was kept up partly through the hard work of various restoration groups but continued to decline. The Star Barn’s saving grace was being bought by a wealthy investor and given a new role in a new location.

The Gothic Revival barn and three original side buildings were taken down in numbered pieces by skilled crews and trucked away. Anything needing rebuilt and restored was done so in accurate detail as the reconstruction went forward. Now it stands resurrected, and I can say from being there that it’s truly well done. True to the accurate restoration, a few small buildings were added to the complex in the same Gothic Revival architecture.

The Star Barn is quite likely the most recognized barn in Pennsylvania from all those years of exposure beside the interstate highway in Swatara Township outside Harrisburg. Nowadays, it stands a little further east in Elizabethtown PA as part of a large event facility that caters to weddings and other functions.  Thanks to the intervention to save it, the Star Barn with its high spire remains a remarkable Pennsylvania landmark.

Back in the day, the barn and surrounding buildings were quite a sight to see even in a worn down state. Have a look at Star Barn 2 #14897 to judge for yourself. Interestingly, here’s another view of the barn standing restored today as New Star Barn 3 #14910.

Location: Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks


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