IBF Annual Barn Workshop, Forum and Annual Meeting

  • July 19, 2019
  • July 20, 2019
  • 2 sessions
  • July 19, 2019, 5:30 PM 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • July 20, 2019, 8:00 AM 2:00 PM (EDT)
  • Oakwood Retreat Center (near Muncie)


  • Includes Lunch

Registration is closed

Practical Ways to Save Indiana’s Barns

This year the 2019 Indiana Barn Foundation Annual Meeting will have two days of practical discussions and lessons about saving barns. And we are changing the title of the meeting to include ‘Forum’ as a way of demonstrating the educational and informative component of the gathering. Join us for the Friday evening Workshop or the Saturday Forum and Annual Meeting, or both!

The Forum and Annual Meeting will take place at Oakwood Retreat Center just outside Selma in Delaware County. Situated on a historic farm, the center is located 15 minutes southeast of Muncie and is nestled along the banks of the White River one mile north of Prairie Creek Reservoir. Visitors can enjoy 40-acres of diverse habitats and wildlife while hiking through prairie, woodland, and wetland trails. Guests also have access to Red-tail Land Conservancy's 117-acre White River Woods which is connected to the property.

This year our keynote speaker will be Jane Griswold Radocchia from Bennington, VT, who will take us on a journey through the practical geometry that built America, including barns. Jane is an architect and an architectural historian with over 40 years-experience in the field. She also calls herself a ‘geometer,’ one who researches and teaches about Practical Geometry, something she has been doing now for 10 years.

The keynote address Saturday afternoon is sponsored by the Cornelius O’Brien Lecture Series Concerning Historic Preservation and is free and open to the public. AIA CEU credits are available for architects who attend either event.


On Friday, July 19, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., register for IBF’s first-ever pre-meeting workshop, Practical Geometry: Framing a Barn with a Compass. For those interested in a more intensive, one-on-one learning of the lost art of Practical Geometry, sign up for this dinner and workshop experience. Beginning with the daisy wheel we will use compasses, straight edges, and pencils to layout the various geometries that governed design in the pre-1900 United States. Participants will draw Practical Geometry diagrams and learn how to apply them to new construction, as well as how to evaluate existing buildings.  

The cost per person is $40 and includes dinner from 5:30-6:30 p.m. of fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared by Oakwood Retreat Center. Pre-registration and payment one week prior is required. Space is strictly limited to 15 participants to ensure the ideal learning experience.


On Saturday, July 20, beginning at 9:00 a.m., join us at Oakwood Retreat Center for the Forum and Annual Meeting, and the many opportunities for discussions and learning:

* Practical Geometry: Designing and Framing Barns with Geometry Before 1900 with keynote speaker, Jane Griswold Radocchia — Practical Geometry is the geometry we used for construction from the time of the pyramids to the early 1900’s. Geometry provided a fixed dimension and pattern when your 12” might not match your neighbor’s, when dimensions weren’t uniform. Its use is now mostly forgotten due to the Industrial Revolution.

Learn what it is, how it was used, and how we lost it. Explore how Lines, Modules and Diameters were used to lay out and design buildings with no numbers. Practical Geometry from Vitruvius through Palladio and Serlio to the pattern books of the 19th century, including the framing systems used in the United States by different immigrant groups, will be explored. Learn how better understanding the construction of barns will help you better maintain and repair them, even when qualified contractors and tradespeople are scarce. Copies of the diagrams and a bibliography will be available. Visits to the Center’s barns will follow the talk.

  • Ted Blodgett, the executive director of Oakwood Retreat Center, will provide a history of our host location
  • Duncan Campbell, retired associate professor of architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Ball State University’s College of Architecture & Planning and former Executive Director of Ball State’s Center for Historic Preservation, will present a repair and reuse strategy that most barn owners can relate to—and accomplish—using his own barn as example.
  • Updates on the 2018 Mauri Williamson Barn Preservation Grant recipients and announcement of the 2019 recipients
  • Annual Members Meeting with Election of Board of Directors and updates on other issues, efforts, and events affecting barn owners

The day will include a delicious lunch prepared by Oakwood Retreat Center. The cost for Saturday is $40 per person. Register for either or both days quickly and easily online by clicking the "Register" button on the left side of the screen. Membership with Indiana Barn Foundation is not required to attend either the Friday or Saturday events, but membership is strongly encouraged to help us further our mission of saving Indiana’s barns. Membership information is also available on the IBF website or attendees can join at the meeting.

Overnight accommodations at Oakwood Retreat Center are also available for $50 per person per night. For more information about the accommodations or to reserve space, please contact IBF board member, Danielle Bachant-Bell, at monroecountybarns@gmail.com or (812) 336-6141.

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