The vestiges of Sonoma’s agricultural legacy – the barns, sheds, shacks and other vernacular agricultural outbuildings – remain well distributed throughout the area. Sadly, many of these buildings are in a state of advanced deterioration and decay. Many are, literally, melting into the ground. These structures are private property but they are also a part of the unique regional character enjoyed by all. Sorely needed are public policies to create incentives for owners to restore and re-purpose these historical structures. Currently many owners are inclined to allow them to disappear as the images below attest.
While the Eastern USA has a number of organized preservation efforts and significantly more structures, western historic barns are at risk due to suburban sprawl. Developers of new subdivisions burn or plow over many of these old and historic barns each year.
In a region that prides itself on preservation of natural resources, there is currently not a single group of any kind – preservation, historical, agricultural, open space… that is engaged in preservation of these man-made structures in Northern California.
Please visit our sister site, Barns of Sonoma County for rural Sonoma photography, art and preservation resources.