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Editor’s Note: A Western Blueprint

The swing beam, originally used to thresh and flail the wheat, remains as part of the aesthetic, keeping the historic element of the barn.

Illuminations: Ones to watch

Highlighting the design by Heritage Restorations

Written by Michele Corriel  

Michele Corriel

Other Contributions

Synchronicity The Archie Bray Foundation A Voice in Stone Equus Ones to Watch: Alan Carr Ones to Watch: Robert Royhl Ones to Watch: Robert Seliger Ones to Watch: Karen Woods Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Artist Jinni Thomas Ones to Watch: Artist Karen Bezuidenhout Ones to Watch: Rory Egelus Ones to Watch: Ceramic Artist George McCauley Ones to Watch: Painter Rick Stevens Ones to Watch: Jon Dick Ones to Watch: Mixed-media Artist Christopher Owen Nelson Ones to Watch: Diana Tremaine Ones to Watch: Josh Elliot Ones to Watch: Doug Smith Ones to Watch: David Barrett Ones to Watch: Howard Knight Ones to Watch: Silas Thompson Ones to Watch: Kristine Allphin Ones to Watch: Chris Morel Ones to Watch: Sherry Salari Sander Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Perspective: Gennie DeWeese [1921-2007] Ones to Watch: Andrew Mann Ones to Watch: Bonnie Teitelbaum Illuminations: Ones to watch Perspective: Frances Senska [1914–2009] Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Artist Glendon Good Ones to Watch: Painter Deladier Almeida Ones to Watch: Sculptor Stephanie Revennaugh Ones to Watch: Painter Gregory Packard Ones to Watch: Randy Stromsoe Ones to Watch: Beth Loftin Ones to Watch: Dyani White Hawk Ones to Watch: David Bardwick Ones to Watch: Donna Gans Ones to Watch: Susan Jarecky Ones to Watch: Carrie Fell Ones to Watch: Rose Masterpol Ones to Watch: Bryan Peterson Ones to Watch: Terry Karson Ones to Watch: Lisa Ronay Ones to Watch: Gwen Samuels Ones to Watch: Kensuke Yamada Ones to Watch: Michael Greenspan Ones to Watch: Chuck Middlekauff Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Artist Ralph Wiegmann Ones to Watch: Artchitect Candace Miller Ones to Watch: Architect George Gibson Ones to Watch: Architect Nick Deaver Ones to Watch: Sculptor Bale Creek Allen Ones to Watch: Painter Brianne Janes Ones to Watch: Danae Bennett Miller Ones to Watch: Mark Edward Adams Ones to Watch: Josh Chandler Ones to Watch: Tony Abeyta Ones to Watch: Robert Spooner Marcus Ones to Watch: Ken Andrews Ones to Watch: Michael Kessler Ones to Watch: Jim Dayton Ones to Watch: Rahnee Gladwin Ones to Watch: Geoffrey Warner Ones to Watch: Troy Collins Ones to Watch: Dean Mabe Ones to Watch: Shelley Muzylowski Allen Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Sculptor Carol Alleman Ones to Watch: Artist Kathleen Dunphy Ones to Watch: Jeweler Jesse Monongye Ones to Watch: Michael Ross Ones to Watch: Furniture maker Charise Buckley Ones to Watch: Sculptor Charles Ringer Ones to Watch: David Slonim Ones to Watch: Catherine Courtenaye Ones to Watch: Ironworker Ted Docteur Ones to Watch: Evert Sodergren Ones to Watch: Jacquelyn Bischak Ones to Watch: Guilloume Ones to Watch: David Coffin Ones to Watch: Francis Di Fronzo Ones to Watch: Jeff Pugh Ones to Watch: Geoff Parker Ones to Watch: Kirsten Kainz Ones to Watch: Susan von Borstel Ones to Watch: Craig Bergsgaard Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Architect Tim Belton Ones to Watch: Anne Moore Ones to Watch: Painter Flavia Eckholm Ones to Watch: Clive Tyler Ones to Watch: Weaver Cheryl Samuel Ones to Watch: Painter Gavin Brooks Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Ones to Watch: Jared Sanders Ones to Watch: Shawna Moore Ones to Watch: Aleta Pippin Ones to Watch: Rene Gibson Ones to Wacth Ones to Watch: Mike Krupnick Ones to Watch: Matt Smith Ones to Watch: Stacy Robinson Ones to Watch: Dean L. 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LaRue Mahlke Ones to Watch: Artist Crista Ann Ames Ones to Watch: Christopher Ries Ones to Watch: Mary Bechtol In the Studio: Richard Parish Ones to Watch: Florian Roeper Ones to Watch: Greg Kelsey Ones to Watch: Andrew Denman Ones to Watch: Sandra Pratt Ones to Watch: Jeff Williams Ones to Watch: Josh Clare Ones to Watch: Daniel Weaver Collector’s Eye: Native American folk art collector Bruce VanLandingham
December 2017 | January 2018


Greg Godsey, a partner in Heritage Restorations, is passionate about historic timber-frame barns. The company keeps 50 to 70 historic barn timber frames in storage lots in Texas and Montana, and it’s Godsey’s job to find the right frame for the right family.

At the Lucky Boy Ranch, west of Fort Worth, Texas, Godsey found an 1820s English-style barn frame with a swing beam. “This was a grain barn, so these frames were dedicated to threshing and storage,” Godsey says. “They would thresh the grain in the barn with a flail.”

The barn was positioned so the broad side faced the prevailing winds. Farmers would winnow, then throw the grain in the air. When they’d open the barn doors the wind blew the chaff out of the barn, and the grain, which was heavy, would fall on the floor. But that method was labor intensive and time consuming, so farmers developed a different way using oxen to stomp the grain.

“They’d tie an ox to the center pole and he would tread the grain, instead of flailing it. That’s where the swing-beam barn comes from,” says Godsey. “The biggest challenge in all the projects is trying to discern the customer’s vision for the barn. In this case, they wanted me to design a home they can farm and ranch in.”

The client was also revitalizing a pecan orchard that had gone to weeds and they wanted to live sustainably. “We put the house in the middle of the grove, where one dead pecan tree had been, and did not interrupt any of the living trees,” Godsey says. “That part was fun, looking at the slope of the land and finding the best spot to place the house.”

The 2,340-square-foot first floor and 455-square-foot loft consists of a guest room, a reading room and a master bedroom and suite as well as two-and-a-half bathrooms.

Godsey explains that people who want a historic timber-frame barn restored usually find them, as Heritage Restorations keeps a healthy inventory. “There are people in the organization scouting 300 to 400 frames a year,” Godsey says. “Yet they only bring in 10 percent of that. We’re well known in Ontario and upstate New York.”

If they don’t have the right timber frames in stock, they will go out and try to find the perfect frame for a client. “Once we have the frame, we talk about the kind of spaces they want,” Godsey says. “Usually, I go visit the customer for two or three days to understand their daily routine. What draws them together and what their family is like — routine, lifestyle — then I can put something together that really fits their needs.”

In the case of Lucky Boy Ranch, the owners also wanted to live sustainably. To that end, Godsey introduced the client to a concept called the “keyhole” garden, to help her grow her own food. A keyhole garden consists of a round raked garden bed, made of stone, with a notch cut out where you stand to tend the waist-high plants.

“You drop the compost in the compost hole and it feeds the garden,” Godsey says. “It was really satisfying to connect the clients with this feature, and we even connected them with an expert who ended up doing a seminar about the keyhole garden at their ranch.”

A former grain barn at the Lucky Boy Ranch, west of Fort Worth, Texas, was relocated and converted into a home by Heritage Renovations.

The cathedral-style ceiling found in timber frames predates the midieval cathedral-style churches that also have a nave or center section. The word nave was used describe this volume because when you look up in the timber frame it looks like the hull of a ship.