Page 24 - The Hunt - Fall 2023
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                HOME & GARDEN
 Barn Raising
A meticulous restoration elevates a piece of Chester County history.
By Eileen Smith Dallabrida Photos by Jana Bannan
In the not-too-distant past, a barn was thought of as simply a structure for sheltering animals and storing their feed. The barn at Bryn Clovis in Willistown still serves that function. But it’s not a purely utilitarian space. It’s an homage of sorts to this pastoral pocket of Chester County, part of what William Penn envisioned
as a Peaceable Kingdom in 1681. And it’s an authentic backdrop for outdoor entertaining, a place where people can gather under sunshine or starlight to celebrate the tranquil countryside. Bryn Clovis and neighboring farm Brushwood were placed in easement by their longtime owner Betty Moran, an esteemed thoroughbred owner and breeder who died in 2020. The latest generation of the family kept that tradition of conservation going when they embarked on a faithful and meticulous restoration of the barn, built from Pennsylvania fieldstone and topped with a cedar shake roof and a trio of cupolas. The keystone above the entry reads 1889.
Preserving an historic structure requires a special skill set, the most important of which is the craftsmanship of the artisans. To bring back the barn at Bryn Clovis, the family turned to the Lancaster County- based firm B&D Builders, who they forged a relationship with when they renovated the barn at Brushwood several years before. B&D also built a party barn from the ground up on another property.
With decades of timber framing, millwork and restoration experience, the team at B&D was tasked with repairing some elements of the barn and replicating others. Artisans replaced every single
door and window on all sides of the barn using sapele mahogany, a beautifully grained species that is prized for its density and durability. “It’s a tropical wood, so it’s very adaptable to heat and moisture,” says Daniel Glick, B&D owner and partner. “Barns are meant to be on
the damp side given the moisture exhaled by the horses so it’s very important to select a resilient, rot-free material.”
22 THE HUNT MAGAZINE fall 2023

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