Monday, September 13, 2010
Grand Old Barn
Outside of Manassas, Virginia a grand barn is situated next to the off ramp of a major traffic route. It seems to be very out of place, given that new construction and roads are springing up all around it. It is, in fact, a reminder of the history of the area, of the industry that used to provide income for the local residents.
The barn is an exquisite structure. Instead of boards, it is constructed of brick and concrete. A large silo sits next to it, undoubtedly a storage area for the feed that used to sustain the livestock that called the barn home. Despite years of neglect, the barn is in great structural shape. The sight of it standing there always saddens me, as I’m sure I know of its ultimate fate. Structures such as this grand old barn usually fall in the face of progress.
I used to work with a guy who loved this barn as much as I do. He had grand ideas for its bright future. One scenario involved transforming the barn into an entertainment venue. A couple of bars would replace the stall walls, and tables and chairs would be placed amongst the wooden beams. Game boards and pool tables would populate one end of the barn, a dance floor towards the middle, and a lounging area on the far side. Comfortable couches and chairs would be strategically placed in the lounging area. The barn would be a meeting place for all who wanted to spend a special night out, whether that was conversing with friends, dancing, partaking in some adult beverages, or just socializing with others who had found their way there.
It is my hope that someone with a strong financial backing takes an interest in this barn and saves it for future generations. The ideas my former coworker had for the barn are not too far-fetched. Barns are a symbol of how far we have come and of the storied history of U.S. commerce. You may have a barn in your area similar to the one outside Manassas. All we can hope is that these grand old barns of yesteryear survive for future generations to enjoy.