Wine Country Workshop and Studio

March 5, 2018

This barn has workspace below, and a studio with spectacular views above

Originally built to house the client’s exacting restoration of antique snowmobiles, this barn also includes a two car garage and an upper level studio opening to a spectacular inset gable balcony overlooking vineyards to a grand view of Lake Erie. The building was built in record time by a Geobarns-trained local Amish crew.


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,  “…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.