Barn Record Suffield

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Building Name (Common)
Beneski Farm (Part 2 of 2)
Building Name (Historic)
n/a
Address
141 South Grand Street, Suffield
Typology
Overview

Designations

n/a

Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a set of three 1 1/2 story gable-entry tobacco sheds. The smallest shed will hereafter be referred to as shed I, the second largest shed will hereafter be referred to as shed II and the largest shed will hereafter be referred to as shed III. The ridge-lines of shed I and shed II are perpendicular to this portion of South Grand Street, which runs north-south.
The ridge-line of shed III is parallel with South Grand Street.

Shed II is closest to South Grand Street. The shed has nine bents and three aisles. The east gable-side of the shed is blank. The west gable-side has a pair of hinged doors in the center of the side. The south eave-side of the shed has eight pairs of hinged doors. The north eave-side has vertical siding in which every second board is hinged at the top and tilted out at the bottom by means of a horizontal cleat, that lifts many boards at once, and metal prop hooks to hold the boards in place. The roof is covered in metal painted green.

Shed I is to the southwest of shed II. The shed has five bents and two aisles. The gable-sides of the shed each have two pairs of hinged doors and the eave-sides of the shed have vertical siding in which every second board is hinged at the top and tilted out at the bottom by means of a horizontal cleat, that lifts many boards at once, and metal prop hooks to hold the boards in place. The roof of shed I appears to have asphalt shingles.

Shed III is directly to the west of shed II. The shed has sixteen bents and two aisles. The gable-sides of the shed each have two pairs of hinged doors and the east eave-side of the shed has fifteen pairs of hinged doors. The west eave-side of shed III has vertical siding in which every second board is hinged at the top and tilted out at the bottom by means of a horizontal cleat, that lifts many boards at once, and metal prop hooks to hold the boards in place. The roof of the shed is half covered in the photographs with metal painted green. The foundation of shed III is concrete piers.

Historical significance:

The tobacco barn, or shed as it is called in the Connecticut River Valley, is one of the most distinctive of the single-crop barns. They tend to be long, low windowless buildings with pitched roofs. They are characterized by vented sides to regulate air flow and allow harvested tobacco to cure at the appropriate rate. Derived initially from the design of the English barn, the shed is composed of a fixed skeleton consisting of two- or three-aisle bents repeated at intervals of 15 feet to the desired length. The wood-framed bents sit on piers of stone or concrete and the bents are connected by girts and diagonal braces. Typically there are two doors at each end, making the shed a “drive-through,” although some sheds are accessed through doors on the sides. The interior structural framework serves a second purpose in addition to supporting the walls and roof of the building; it provides a framework for the rails used to hang the tobacco as it cures.

Tobacco shed ventilation is accomplished using one of four different systems (more than one method may be utilized in a single shed):

a) Vertical siding in which every second board is hinged at the top and tilted out at the bottom by means of a horizontal cleat, that lifts many boards at once, and metal prop hooks to hold the boards in place;

b) Vertical siding in which alternate boards are hinged along the sides to open like tall narrow doors;

c) Less commonly, horizontal siding in which alternate boards are hinged along the top edge and open like long narrow awnings;

d) A series of large doors along one of the long sides of the building with the other sides of the building vented by one or more of the other methods.

Field Notes

n/a

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)


Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Demolished

No

Location Integrity

Unknown

Environment

Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

These three sheds are well to the the south of the house they are associated with in this 88.79 acre farming complex. The ridge-line of the house is perpendicular to South Grand Street. Behind and to the west of the house is a New England bank barn. To the north of the barn is a eave-entry barn. North of that are five green houses. A number of small sheds are scattered throughout the property. To the northwest of the barn is a thirteen bent, two aisle tobacco shed with a series of large doors along the east eave side of the building with the other side of the building vented by vertical boards. West of the tobacco shed is a small pond. To the west of shed I is a four bay garage. To the north are large tracts of open space. The area surrounding the lot is residential, active agriculture, open space and woodland.


CRN Corn Crib 96 S.F. 
BRN7 Tobacco Barn 7680 S.F.
BRN7 Tobacco Barn 4160 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 36 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 180 S.F.
BRN7 Tobacco Barn 5880 S.F.
BRN4 Barn 1 St w/Loft & Bsmt 1536 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 192 S.F.
BRN4 Barn 1 St w/Loft & Bsmt 1536 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 240 S.F.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology

Materials


Structural System

n/a

Roof materials


Roof type


Approximate Dimensions

n/a

Source

Date Compiled

08/25/2010

Compiled By

Todd Levine, reviewed by the Connecticut Trust

Sources

Photographs by Mike Bruns.

Map of Suffield, CT, retrieved on August 25, 2010 from website www.zillow.com.

O’Gorman, James F., Connecticut Valley Vernacular: the Vanishing Landscape and Architecture of the New England Tobacco Fields, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, 144 pages.

Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history.

Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997, 213 pages.

Vision Appraisal Online Database. www.visionappraisal.com/suffieldct.

PhotosClick on image to view full file