Museum at Van Hoosen Farm to rebuild equipment barn

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published March 7, 2019

 The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm hopes to reconstruct an equipment barn, which was torn down in 1990, next year.

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm hopes to reconstruct an equipment barn, which was torn down in 1990, next year.

Photo provided by Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

ROCHESTER HILLS — Officials from the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm are hoping to raise enough money to rebuild a historical equipment barn on the property next year.

Original to the Van Hoosen Farm site, the equipment barn was standing on the property — but not in good shape — when the city acquired it in 1989, according to Museum Supervisor Pat McKay. It deteriorated to a point where it had to be removed in 1990.

“Our equipment barn is the next building that is part of our preservation adaptive master plan for the Van Hoosen Farm,” McKay explained. “The idea behind it is to accommodate two different things. One is we are trying to recreate the historic setting on a National Register Historic site, but we are also trying to address some operational needs we have. We’d like to put a lot of equipment that is sitting outside, and has been for 30 years, indoors. (The equipment barn) allows us to free up a lot of storage space inside our smaller historic buildings, and we can open up more of our historic buildings for public tours and offer a more robust interpretation of our historic site,” McKay said.

The museum hopes to reconstruct the early 20th-century barn in its original location along Runyon Road using exact dimensions from the previous building that was removed in 1990. The building, according to McKay, will be used to store program support items for the museum operation on the upper level and allow historical farm equipment that is currently sitting outside to be housed indoors on the lower level, which will be open to the public.

On Feb. 11, the Rochester Hills City Council gave its approval for the museum to contract with H2A Architects for architectural and engineering Services for approximately $74,000 to develop cost projections, construction drawings, specifications and construction administration for the reconstruction of the equipment barn.

“This equipment barn, even though we would like to have a sexier name for it, really is integral to the operation of the museum,” said Council Vice President Stephanie Morita. “It will provide some great space, and I’m excited that is being moved forward now and we’re starting to plan for it.”

City officials anticipate that it will cost approximately $650,000 to rebuild the three-story, 2,000-square-foot barn.

“We probably have about $550,000 in the bank, so we are still about $100,000 short,” McKay said. “We are still going to be actively fundraising, and if we don’t get enough money, then we’ll have to do it in different phases, where you build part of it, you wait a couple of years, and wait for the money to come in to keep building it out.”

The museum hopes to raise the remaining funds to construct the barn over the next year so that the project can begin in 2020.

“Our goal, as part of our master plan, has always been to recreate this farm setting, because this is not just a typical farm. This is a farm that had national significance with some really remarkable people,” McKay said.

The 16-acre museum complex is located on a historical farm at 1005 Van Hoosen Road in Rochester Hills.

For more information, visit www.rochesterhills.org/museum.