Historic Barns in Ohio

Historic barns are not just rural relics, they are important tangible reminders of Ohio's rural heritage. Many barns and other older farm buildings can be rehabilitated to accommodate modern farming practices. The State Historic Preservation Office and the OSU-Extension encourage owners to maintain their historic buildings for future generations to use and appreciate.

Barn Information for You

To assist owners in rehabilitating and maintaining their historic barns, we have compiled a packet of practical information and advice including:

  • a list of barn contractors and consultants with experience in barn repair
  • a bibliography of historic barns and agricultural outbuildings
  • suggested steps for looking at your old barn
  • information about the Barn Again! program
  • National Park Service Preservation Brief 20, The Preservation of Historic Barns
  • Information on federal tax credits for rehabilitating historic farm buildings

This contractors list should not be considered a referral or recommendation of the work of anyone on the list. You may also contact your county extension agent for the names of local barn contractors that may not be on this list. Click here for a list of extension offices. We suggest interviewing several people before selecting a contractor. Be sure to ask for client references, examples of previous work, cost estimates and a time schedule for completing the work. 

To obtain a barn packet, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at 614-298-2000. For a copy of the contractors list only, click here to download the list.in Adobe pdf format. 

Financial Assistance for the Rehabilitation of Historic Barns
Presently there are no grants available for the rehabilitation of historic barns. There are 20 percent and 10 percent federal rehabilitation tax credits available for the rehabilitation of certain income producing properties. If you are interested in applying for the 20 percent tax credit, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at 614-298-2000 for more detailed information. For advice on the 10 percent credit, contact your tax accountant. 

Barn Again!
Barn Again! Is a program sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Successful Farming magazine. The program:

  • promotes the preservation and practical use of older barns for today’s farming needs
  • provides practical, up-to-date information and technical assistance to barn owners
  • presents annual awards for excellence in barn rehabilitation

For more information visit Barn Again! 

Friends of Ohio Barns
Friends of Ohio's Barns is Ohio's statewide advocacy organziation for Ohio's barns.

 They offer an annual Ohio Barn Conference, conduct barn tours, workshops and barn surveys and publish a quarterly newsletter. For more information visit Friends of Ohio Barns.

Barn Preservation Activities in Eleven States

Eleven states have developed innovative programs to help preserve and find new uses for older and historic barns. These programs were highlighted in a publication from Preservation BooksProtecting Older and Historic Barns through Barn Preservation Programs. This 20-page booklet, written by Jennifer Goodman and Bill Kimball, is designed to help individuals and state and local preservation organizations start barn preservation programs.