East Monitor Barn Restoration
A Project of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
The first phase of restoration is underway 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. Despite its impressive appearance on our East Campus, the barn is in a state of disrepair and can’t currently be used to support programs. 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.
We expect the full restoration to take two years, followed by programmatic fit-up in 2025. The restoration is part of a larger VYCC initiative to not only enhance the VYCC experience, but also to make it 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 can be saved without being dismantled first!
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. The north retaining wall has shifted south toward Route 2, causing the ground and stock levels, and entire front wall to be out of plumb, causing the entire building to list forward.
Additional structural concerns include: trussing on the basement level that cannot adequately support heavy loads, badly rusted support columns at the stock level (level two), and general disrepair from lack of use and upkeep over time, including a leaky roof and numerous holes in the floor.
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?
Stay tuned for a blog, coming to this site soon.
To learn more about Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, visit vycc.org.