image

Lake Erie Barn in the Vineyards

 

Click on any photo to see an enlarged detail view

 

Yesterday I had to make an emergency material delivery from OH to Lake Erie with a half unit of shiplap that was not pulled off the tractor trailer when it should have been...I was irritated and exhausted after an intense morning finishing the main shell roof in OH having to drive 600 miles that never should have been necessary in the first place....not to mention $200 in gas and ten hours on the road...:-(

Like most of life intended and filled with God's blessing--this ended up being a marvelous day--no matter how initially clueless I was and tired when it was over. It is rare I am stunned by a building I have recently visited--but pulling up to Tom and Anne's vineyard heaven in North East, PA--I profoundly was. The Alan Miller Amish crew has worked amazingly fast and so well that what I expected to see wrapped in Weathertrek was almost completely sided with most of the windows in and trimmed out with our signature clear vertical grain doug fir. More than that was the beautiful color combination of the trim with off white siding and charcoal gray roofing that is pretty much the inverse of the house--as Tom commented upon his arrival. Even more moving was listening to Tom talk about the barn and see his eyes fill with tears as he told me he never even imagined it would be as lovely and well built as it now is...words failed him--and me as well--listening to him pour out his heart. It was humbling....this kind of outcome simply cannot be orchestrated in a contract or set of plans but can only be described as an act of grace....for all of us who are privileged to be part of the process.

The joyful journey back was far more pleasant than the truculent trip there...lesson learned once again. I had to do what had to be done...and the earthly trudge landed me on cloud nine in the middle of the Lake Erie vineyards....

george

 

Hello, my name is Thomas Mack. My wife, Anne, and our son, Aidan, live in Northwest Pennsylvania on the shores of Lake Erie. We live largely in a rural agricultural area surrounded by a mesmerizing continuation of Concord grape vineyards.

We love restoring old buildings, to a fault. Our home, circa 1900 farmhouse, was painstakingly restored over a period of five years. Restoration is a labor of love. Our marriage made it through the difficulty of such a project(s). However, this was it for me. At 53, I decided old is gold but not going to do that again. Unfortunately, I needed space, storage space...barn space. Fortunately, the local code enforcement officer said, “Tom, I know you can fix things, but, I am not going to let you fix the old garage out back. It won’t meet code.”

What a dilemma. I began thinking of styles, proportion, dimension and design. Mainly just daydreaming most of the time. There were older traditional barns in the neighborhood that I wanted to emulate. I searched countless designs and configurations for well over two years. Back to my code enforcement officer, Fritz. I ran into Fritz in late August, 2013. “Tom, there is a fellow from Vermont here in town building a barn. I know what you like and I think this is the guy for you. Better hurry up because he will be leaving in a week or two.”

After getting the site information from Fritz, I called my wife at lunch and asked if she would accompany me to the location. She obliged and off we went. As we turned from the lake road and drove up a long drive my first impression was, ‘oh my.’ I was rather quiet and taking in the vast setting and barn. As we exited the truck and walked around the structure, George came down the makeshift stairs from the second floor. We introduced ourselves and shook his hand. No questions, I knew. It was from that point our lives changed.

Certainly, George Abetti does not need to be introduced to you if you are reading this. And, certainly, you have seen his magnificent structures. George is our friend. We are bonded by a common structure, the Geobarn. George has combined tradition and style as he builds Geobarns across the country. The designer, David Hamilton, suppliers and work crews were wonderful. It’s a process building a new structure. For George, it’s a creative process. It’s not a building--it’s artwork and we are fortunate to enjoy his art every day.

image

image

image

image

image

image


For more information, contact:

Site by Whittaker Websites