East Monitor Barn Restoration

A Project of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

Project Overview

The first phase of restoration is complete on Vermont Youth Conservation Corp’s historic East Monitor Barn in Richmond, VT. The East Monitor Barn was built in 1901 and is one of the few remaining large-scale dairy barns of its time. VYCC acquired the barn and surrounding land in 2008, at which time it was already in need of restoration. In addition to saving an icon of Vermont’s landscape, restoring the barn is critical to strengthening VYCC’s growing programs in the years to come. 


 2024 marks the second phase, and second year, of restoring the East Monitor Barn. The restoration is part of a larger VYCC initiative to enhance the VYCC experience and to make VYCC more accessible. The barn’s restoration is a keystone in our efforts to improve and create housing, build four-season teaching spaces, expand our office space, and provide more efficient tool and equipment storage. 


 A restored barn will provide a space for youth and young adults to learn best practices in conservation and sustainable agriculture, make significant contributions to their community, and experience a safe and functional work environment. We invite you to learn more about the project and how you can get involved below. 

Current Barn Condition

Great news: the East Monitor Barn is once again plumb and straight!

At 54 feet wide, 112 feet long, and nearly 70 feet tall, the East Monitor Barn is the largest structure on the VYCC campus and is prominently visible from Route 2 and Interstate 89. It is a “bank barn,” built into a hill at its northern end, allowing grade entry into three of four levels of the building.

Over time, the north retaining wall had shifted south toward Route 2, causing the entire building to list forward. In 2023, Building Heritage and partners lifted the barn, repaired timbers and walls at the lower levels, restored the foundation, and set it back down again. On the southern end, we recreated the barn’s original central entrance.

Below, please find detailed accounts and photos of restoration efforts to date on our blog.

Phase One: Stabilization 2023

Eliot Lothrop of Building Heritage is the lead restorationist for this project. While the task of restoring this immense structure is daunting, we have a shovel-ready plan. We’ll start by lifting the upper floors off of the stock and ground level floors. This will relieve pressure, allowing us to lay a new foundation and restore timbers as needed.

On the northern end, we will stabilize the soil to reduce southward pressure. This will also allow us to install insulation, a vapor barrier, and drainage systems. On the southern end, we will recreate the barn’s original central entrance.

Phase Two: Upper-Level Restoration 2024

Eliot Lothrop of Building Heritage remains the lead restorationist for this project. In phase two, our focus is on the upper two stories of the barn and the roof. The original slate roof and flashing has seen little to no maintenance besides emergency repairs since the barn was built.

We will perform major timber repairs on the main roof, particularly on the north and east sides of the building. Jeff Spencer and the crew at Stewardship Slate will repair sheathing and slate along the length of the monitor roof.

East Monitor Barn Rendering

2023 Stabilization Timeline


Remove first floor, begin excavation work and site prep, mill timbers from local forests


Jack the building from the hay mow up, continue excavation, begin timber removal and repair


Remove and repair damaged timbers, pour concrete footings and interior piers, stabilize northern wall with geotextile fabric, repair stonework throughout


Install new and repaired timbers, start laying stone on top of the new concrete frost wall, install basement posts, lower the barn and reattach upper section to lower stock level


Re-sheath exterior walls below haymow level, install temporary windows, frame central southern entranceway, install new floor on stock level


Install engineered flooring system and subfloor the stock level

2024 Upper-Level Restoration Timeline


Excavate around the base of the barn for improved drainage, complete repair work on the north wall, begin removing old slate from roof


Timber repair work begins in the monitor (upper loft area), sheathing and covering the monitor with roofing underlayment


Strip slate from the main roof on the east side, continue timber repairs


Close main roof, continue timber repairs


Reinstall slate roofing using a combination of salvageable and new slate


Continue slate installation

Get Involved

The restoration of the East Monitor Barn is supported in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service. This project is also supported in part by many individuals, foundations, and corporations who share our vision for historic preservation and expanded programming. Your tax-deductible gift to the VYCC will help ensure a functional, vibrant, and lasting space in which youth and young adults will learn vital skills, while supporting Vermont’s natural environment and its residents.

East Monitor Barn

Learn More

Curious about construction updates, latest news, and partner features? See our blog posts below. We'll continue adding updates as the restoration progresses.

To learn more about Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, visit vycc.org.

To discover more about the restoration, contact Eliot Lothrop of Building Heritage via email Eliot@BuildingHeritage.com or phone at (802) 598–9344.

To inquire more about the purpose of the restoration, contact Breck Knauft, VYCC Executive Director, via email at breck.knauft@vycc.org or phone at (802) 598-6386.

press clipping describing the barn raising in 1901
May 17, 1901 press clipping from The Enterprise & Vermonter (Vergennes, VT), mentioning the construction of the East Monitor Barn.

Latest Updates

East Monitor Barn: April 2024 Construction Updates

East Monitor Barn: April 2024 Construction Updates

May 6, 2024

Phase Two of restoration kicked off April 9, 2024. Work is happening on the ground (improving drainage) and in the air (stripping slate). Find details, photos, and introductions to two new team members in this post.

East Monitor Barn: November & December Construction Updates

East Monitor Barn: November & December Construction Updates

January 10, 2024

It’s a new year, and the East Monitor Barn is looking newer by the day! Since lowering the barn back onto the restored foundation, the restoration team has added steel reinforcement, reframed a large portion of the lower walls, and much more…

Lowering the East Monitor Barn

Lowering the East Monitor Barn

October 24, 2023

After three months defying gravity atop 164,000 pounds of steel I-beams, the roughly 500,000-pound East Monitor Barn touched down onto a restored foundation not long ago! In between our last update and lowering the barn, the restoration team completed finishing touches.