East Monitor Barn Restoration
A Project of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
It’s incredible what can happen in just a few short months! How did the East Monitor Barn restoration team navigate the statewide flooding in July? What happened when they uncovered buried treasure at the restoration site? What thoughts did they share in a Stuck in Vermont feature? We get into all of that (and more!) in this July and August construction recap.