Design Week Portland
  • Shipley-Cook Barn Restoration

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  • Shipley-Cook Barn Restoration

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  • Shipley-Cook Barn Restoration

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  • Shipley-Cook Barn Restoration

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SHIPLEY-COOK BARN

The Shipley-Cook barn is a rare example of early Oregon Pioneer era agricultural building methods and one of the oldest structures of the Pioneer era still standing in the Willamette Valley.

A 2013 State Historic Preservations Office study found that 95% of the Willamette Valley’s Pioneer properties (1841-1865) have been destroyed. It is one of just 23 pre-1865 barns still standing. It consisted of hand-hewn and circular sawn Douglas Fir timber post and beam construction with mortise and tenon connections and rough circular sawn Douglas Fir board and batten siding.

THE CHALLENGE

A condition assessment and preservation plan was developed with Restore Oregon to ensure the restoration was sensitive to the integrity and era of the building. The barn required stabilization and rehabilitation primarily at the back half where the original stone columns and mortar had deteriorated to rubble. What used to be grand stone and mortar pillars were now relegated to random rocks strewn about the landscape. The barn had sagged drastically without the support of the columns and appeared to be sliding down the hill pulling the upper section of the barn with it. The primary framing members on the back side, both vertical and horizontal had rotted and were no longer structurally sound. In particular, the main foundation/mud sill beam that spanned approximately 30 ft. from one corner to corner was so rotten, we were able to dig out sections of wood with our hands.

The circular sawn timbers and siding were special ordered from Idaho and shipped specifically for this project. Each rock was salvaged from the farm, collected and reused to rebuild the original columns. The most daunting task was cribbing and jacking the first and second floors to offset the load path while we removed the mud sill beam.

ARCIFORM came up with a unique and clever solution using 6×6 posts and Ellis clamps which were traditionally used in mining operations to support the ceiling of the excavated space. By doing this, we were able to move the bearing load inward approximately 6 inches, just enough to take the weight off the beam, remove it and install a new beam in its place. Where vertical posts could not be removed entirely, the rotten sections were cut out and replaced with interlocking half lap joints, the wood to wood connections bolted in place then concealed with traditional wood pegs.