What’s a Monitor Barn?

A Monitor Barn is for cows. Why did we build an architect designed Monitor Barn since we don’t have cows?

What could you use a Monitor Barn for?

I’ve lived in Vermont all my life and have an affinity for agriculture and those who have toiled in barns to provide the rest of us with milk and other food products. Every time I explore a barn, especially a historic one, I can’t help but think of the hard, honest and lengthy work that took place there by generations of farmers. Barns remind me of visiting my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Weathersfield, VT bringing back fond memories of farm life.

Many years ago Sally and I converted our 2-car garage at 3325 Hinesburg Road – Richmond, VT into business space for our growing web-based business, AudiobooksOnline.com. We operated the business there for over twenty years. Not having a garage for our vehicles motivated us to consider having a garage built plus I didn’t want to keep my new John Deere 4720 tractor outdoors. Many thousands of dollars later we had a beautiful 1822 FT2 Monitor Barn with three garage bays (radiant floor heated) and lots of living / office space AND a connector to the main 2-story colonial home. View photos of the Monitor Barn here.

When the Monitor Barn was completed in 2011, we used it for vehicle and tractor storage, my office (over the 3-bay garage) and a family recreation room with a twenty-six foot vaulted ceiling.

What could you use the Monitor Barn for?

  • vehicle & tractor storage
  • personal office
  • family activities
  • work / hobby shop
  • an at-home business such as auto detailing, woodshop, screen printing, 
  • a businesses with a few employees – The barn is outfitted with several stations of ports for Ethernet, phone and satellite TV
  • artist studio & gallery
  • possibly a BnB
  • events

A Monitor Barn is a particular early 1900s design of dairy barn accomodating cows in the lower section and a hayloft or equipment storage on the second floor and sometimes third and fourth floors. The full-length “raised center aisle (RCA), the top most floor, was narrower than the base with lots of vents to open allowing air to circulate from the first floor up and out which contributed to the health of the cows and drying of hay. The Monitor barn had two levels of roofs that were steep enough and usually metal to remove snow efficiently before the weight got heavy enough to damage the barn.

About Richmond’s famous Monitor Barn“Around 1900, a unique pair of large dairy barns was built in Richmond amidst more than 1,000 acres of prime agricultural lands, wooded hillsides and three prosperous farmsteads. At the time of their construction, these barns represented a major advance in barn architecture. Their roofs featured “monitor” designs which, by aiding air circulation throughout the structure, improved the health of the cows within and the economics of the farms they supported.”