Demolition Alert 18: Rotary Barn in Stowe, Vermont

Picture of Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

The good news is that it has been over 2 months since our last Demolition Alert; but, the bad news . . . here we go again. This time we turn to Stowe, Vermont where the Stowe Reporter reports that the Rotary Barn may be too far gone to save:

The writing may finally be on the wall for Stowe’s Rotary Barn.

The historic building — the subject of debate for 19 years, while it sat on blocks — has deteriorated to the point where town officials believe it’s beyond saving . . .

The circa-1839 structure, a former church and gymnasium, has been in decline since 1993, when the town government parked it next to Jackson Arena while debate raged on what to do with it.

On Monday, the select board put out one last request to anyone interested in salvaging the building. If no one comes forward, it may be scrapped at the town’s expense.

Over the years, many people have pleaded with town officials to keep the structure intact and save it for a community center, a headquarters for the Parks and Recreation Department, or some other use . . .

The town government bought the 2,400-square-foot building in 1932. Until 1974, it was the gym for the former Stowe High School, now the Helen Day Memorial Library and Art Center.

While it’s never actually been a barn, many call it the Rotary Barn because the local service club has used it for the past three decades to store equipment. Other groups, such as Stowe Winter Carnival, store materials there, too.

When the structure was moved to the Jackson Arena site in 1993, the location was supposed to be temporary. The structure was placed on blocks, largely unsupported. As time dragged on, the floor buckled and town crews had to screw two slabs of plywood over the door to keep people out.

Over the years, town officials and concerned citizens went back and forth about what to do about the building, which continued to decay . . .

Fortunately, the town is giving the Rotary Barn a glimmer of hope:

The town is now accepting proposals from anyone who has a plan for the building, on condition it be removed from town property by Nov. 15. Preference has been given to proposals that keep part of the property in town, but it’s not required. Bidders are required to outline in their proposal how they intend to use the building or its historic elements and what they are willing to pay for it.

The building may be viewed by calling Bruce Godin, parks superintendent, at 793-6811 to make an appointment. Written proposals are due Tuesday, July 10, by 1 p.m. at the Stowe Town Manager’s Office, 67 Main St., P.O. Box 730, Stowe, VT 05672.

Any takers?

Also, we were unable to find a decent picture of the Rotary Barn . . . if anyone has a picture they are willing to share, please let us know in the comment section below (or simply post it). Thanks 🙂

Please add your thoughtful comment . . .