Home > Our Philosophy > "The Oldest Building in Tarrant County." 3/19/06
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Dutch Barn Soon To Claim Title of "The Oldest Building in Tarrant County."

  This spring, the newly restored Whittier Heights' barn will further the developer's objective of creating a neighborhood rooted in richly remembered places.

Whittier Heights, a luxury home neighborhood in northwest Colleyville, will soon be home to one of the country's more remarkable structures when the timbers of a New World Dutch Barn circa 1760 are raised there on May 20.

Huge hand-hewn posts and anchor beams assembled in an H-frame design create a cathedral-like volume of interior space in these timeless icons of our agrarian past. Equally remarkable is the post and beam joinery employed in building this structure on what was then the frontier of civilization in North America. No nails or screws were used to fasten posts and beams. Instead, mortises were cut into posts and half-round tenons shaped at the ends of beams. This framework was pegged together and braced so securely that 250 years later many New World Dutch barns still attest to the ingenuity and self-reliance of the early settlers.

New World Dutch Barns were built primarily in the Mohawk, Schoharie, and Hudson River Valleys of New York from around 1630 to 1820. Architect and Colgate University Professor John Fitchen wrote that these barns "are of noble proportions on the exterior: broad, capacious looking, spreading expansively to either side…If one can admire the superior quality of their exterior appearance, the interior is even more noteworthy…Every timber of the entire skeleton lies open to view…its species of wood, its details, its degree of finish...The sense of vastness and yes, of grandeur, even, is heightened by the uneven light from an open door (and) slender shafts of sunlight slanting down from the martin holes."

With a lakeside setting and wide terrace, the Whittier Heights barn will be a gathering place for both formal and informal occasions, contributing to the 'Sense of Place' of this timeless neighborhood.

Call Susan Folkert at 214/673-6754 for more information on Whittier Heights, or click here.

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