Friday, July 1, 2011

How often do you see this?

Have you ever seen this?

A barn being moved? Never!

This old brick barn, built in the late 1800's, is moving. In these pictures, it was already lifted off its foundation onto a huge bed, and rolled across a grassy area in anticipation of hitting the road - literally - at 11 p.m. Wednesday night. The moving company had until 6 a.m. Thursday morning to relocate it to a site a little more than two miles away.

The barn has been on the property of Valley High School, where the vacated space will become a new parking lot.

New parking space is needed at the 2,200-student high school (grades 10, 11, and 12) because a parking lot currently on the west side of the school is the site of an addition to the school.

No one wanted to see the old structure destroyed. It sold for $1 to Valley Evangelical Free Church that has plans renovate it.

On the opposite side of the street from the barn site, the farmhouse remains. It's for sale. Nestled in the trees, it looks classically dignified among its more contemporary neighbors that were built in the late 1970's.

The site of our own home is land that was once part of the same farm. When we moved to this area 22 years ago (come August), we couldn't have imagined the development and changes we've seen. It's nice knowing this historical barn will continue to live on.

Here's a link to the nighttime, time-lapsed video of the barn being moved along West Des Moines streets.



  1. What a beautiful building. I'm so glad that it's not being torn down. There is too much of that in the US -- we don't save or appreciate things like that as much as we should. With some inside work that could make a fabulous quilt shop/retreat center/studio. In my dreams!

  2. What a sight that must have been coming down the road..lovely old barn, gosh only $1..would be great as a quilting shop...
    and lovely old house, glad that's staying put.
    Hugs julia ♥

  3. Wow, That was so cool!!! I'm glad they were able to move it. There was a lovely 1920's manor house a few miles down the road from me that was torn down because they could not move it below the powerlines and such. The guy who owned the home was giving it away just so it wouldn't be torn down. When the idea of moving it didn't work he allowed people who remembered his grandparents (who owned the house) to come in and take things as momentos. He gave away fire place mantles, light fixtures and such. Most anything they wanted. It was so sad to see it demolished. People came and took bricks, too.

    My husband noticed that at one intersection there wasn't a traffic signal pole across the intersection in the direction they were taking the barn, but there was in the other direction. We were wondering if they actually took one down to move the barn? Thanks so much for sharing this video and story. That was the ultimate recycle/reuse, and a wonderful example of using what God has already allowed to be built, instead of destroying it. It is so good to hear a church is using it to expand their ministries. Our church built a huge multipurpose building and then spent 3 years not using it much and trying to pay the bills. In the last two winters it has become quite a blessing as it is being used as a homeless shelter in a rotation with other local churches.

  4. I love this! My brother once had a job moving houses...same time frame as you have to move them when there is little traffic. And, yes, sometimes things had to be moved like lights, etc. What a beautiful barn!

  5. I am so glad that the church bought the barn - I hate it when we tear things down that can be regifted and reloved! blessings, marlene

  6. What a beautiful old barn, and what a sight to see it being moved.
    Some years ago here in Wellington, the capitol city of New Zealand, a similar thing happened, but on a larger scale. A large hotel was moved very slowly on rollers from one side of a busy city road to the other. It is still known ocasionally as the "Hotel de Wheels"

  7. What a sight that was, you'd remember that forever! I think it's incredible that it was saved, and maybe, the Lord will see others redeemed inside its walls.
    At one time, I went to college (and then, to church) inside a building that had once been a milking barn. It's a shame that so many buildings are torn down and no re-purposed.
    Thank you for this share, Linda!

  8. Hi, I just found your blog as I googled the Willow Bay Jungle Friends to look for ideas on how to quilt it. Though I live in Egypt now, I was home (KC) this spring and also bought my pattern at Quilter's Haven in Lenexa. This is my first applique quilt and I am wondering how to quilt it. I thought first, I would stitch in the ditch and then do something in the green blocks. That would make the quilting uneven in the quilt so I was looking for ideas. Would you share how you quilted yours with me? I also quilt with a Pfaff Grand Quilter. I love your blog-the stories, the tutorials, and the QUILTS! Kim, a Quilterindenile!



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