Barn Record Westbrook

Building Name (Common)
Orsina's Chicken Coops
Building Name (Historic)
Orsina's Chicken Coops
398 McVeagh Road, Westbrook



Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is 2 –story shed-roof chicken coop towards the north of McVeagh Road with its south eave-side facing the road. The first floor level of the south eave-side of the coop has two modules of closely spaced individually framed four six-pane windows, one module at the center and the other towards the east. The two modules are tied together by a continuous trim at the second floor level while the vertical side members of each window frame extend up to the floor of the first floor level. The first floor level of the coop also has a six-pane window towards the west. The second floor level of the barn has two similar modules of six-pane windows with an additional window towards the east. A four-pane window can be seen at the second floor level towards the extreme west. The west side-wall of the coop has an entrance towards the south through a Z-braced hinged pass-through door with lintel trim. The grade level along the west gable-end gradually declines towards the north revealing the cement plastered masonry foundation of the coop.

The wooden frame of the coop is supported on cement plastered masonry foundation. The coop appears to have asphalt shingle roofing and yellow painted horizontal siding with white corner bards and trim.

Historical significance:

Poultry farming grew in popularity during the second half of the 19th century, and by the early 20th century most farms had small chicken coops. These lightly-built structures often feature a gabled or shed roof and large windows on the south side. Often chicken coops have a small stove and chimney for heat to protect young chicks during cold weather. Small openings near the ground provide the fowl with access to the yard. Inside are nesting boxes for the laying hens. During the 1930s and 1940s, poultry farming was adopted by many farmers in New England as a replacement for dairy farming.

Field Notes

See also 471 McVeagh Road

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 2 acres parcel, Property ID: 151/003 and Account number – O0268300_1, is located towards the north of McVeagh Road. The property is situated in a pre-dominantly residential area of rural character with individual plots separated by dense woodland and water bodies. Residential plots can be seen towards the south of the property while open land towards the west has a stream of water connecting to Pratts Pond towards further northwest. Dense woodland covers the area towards the north and the east of the property across the road.

The shed-roof circa 1900 chicken coop is located towards the western edge of the property while a 1 ½- story circa 1955 gable-roof eave-entry garage is located towards its south. The south eave-side of the coop and the ridge line of the garage run east-west, parallel to this portion of McVeagh Road. The circa 1750 cape style main residence is located towards the east of the garage abutting to the road. The property is accessed by a driveway towards the north of the main residence which continues towards the west connecting the coop and the garage. The eastern edge of the property is defined by a row of trees while open land surrounds the coop and the garage towards the north, west and the south.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Shed: 20 X 40 Sqft, Circa 1900; 3CGar: 27 X 38 Sqft, Circa 1955;


Date Compiled


Compiled By

T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust


Field notes and photographs provided by: Meg Parulis, 09/10/2010

Assessors’ records retrieved on March 25th, 2011 from website

GIS information retrieved on March 25th, 2011 from website .

Photograph/Information retrieved on March 25th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on March 25th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on March 25th, 2011 from website

Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005,

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

PhotosClick on image to view full file