2011 SHPO AWARD WINNERS » Heidenreich

David and Becky Buri, Heidenreich Dairy Barn, Heritage Barn Rehabilitation, Colfax

Heritage Barn Rehabilitation is the newest award category being recognized in our award program. Awards made in this category recognize individuals or organizations that have completed work in rehabilitating barns listed in, or eligible for listing in, the Washington Heritage Barn Register or other historic designations. Rehabilitation work recognized by this award must be found to meet, if not exceed, the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. In this second year in which an award is made in this category, we honor David and Becky Buri of Colfax.

In 2007, David and Becky applied to have their barn, the Heidenreich Dairy Barn in Whitman County, included in the then newly created Heritage Barn Register. In doing so, they noted its importance to the region’s history and recognized that the 1910 barn retained most of its original features including windows. The original shingled roof had been patched over the years. But over time, birds and relentless Palouse winds had taken their toll. The roof was badly in need of replacement and there was barely a scrap of paint left on the clapboards. Regardless, the barn was a strong candidate for designation and at that time was accepted by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to the Heritage Barn Register.
Two years later, the Buri’s successfully applied to the State’s Heritage Barn Rehabilitation Grant program for $24,000 to help them replace the roof and perform other needed work. The project was far from simple. The roof and windows were not the only problems and weren’t even the first thing that needed to be done to stabilize the barn. There was an eight inch curve in the center of the barn that had to be corrected with an excavator leaning against the structure. After that step, cables were then run through and connected to concrete dead men buried on the side. The cables worked and are now almost unnoticeable. Re-roofing was next. Reaching to a height of 67 feet at the cupola and extending 65 feet in length, the roof area measures a vast 6500+ square feet! The Buri’s tore off old shingles and removed nails for over a week straight. To cover a roof with that much square footage, it took over 20,000 new shingles that had to be hammered in place one by one. That small feat took two men eight hours a day for six solid weeks to finish. David had a great quote in a magazine article on the barn’s re-roofing, “You go all the way across and that meant you were five inches closer to the top!”

Once the roof was done, a complete paint job was next. Luckily, David and Becky recruited family members to become part of the team who helped them prime and paint the barn with 85 gallons of paint. Finally, the original windows were repaired, re-glazed, and reinstalled completing the amazing transformation. After all was said and done, the Buri’s spent over $26,000. More than that was matched in the two and a half months that they devoted of their own time and labor to the project.

The Buri’s report that the community is delighted with their restoration of the Heidenreich Barn. In fact, many of them have stopped by to say “thanks” for their hard work. Now, it’s my turn to thank and honor David and Becky Buri for their achivement—not many people are willing to take on replacing 6500 square feet of shingles! But barn lovers are not only passionate, but weird that way!

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