The Amish Barn, Old Town Spring, Texas
Amidst the charm of Old Town Spring are several buildings that not only do not contribute to the historic charm, but largely detract from the integrity of the built environment. The Amish Barn at Old Town Spring is definitely one of these buildings. It is a premier TURD of Old Town Spring.
When we think about the human being and its inability to look at examples, follow patterns, and/or consider others that will be effected, we are often saddened. This sense of sadness is often followed with a certain rage–a rage that we often exhaust in our columns. The Amish Barn, shown above, is a miracle of human ignorance, bad taste that is of the moment, and a loss of ideas on how to build economically. Often times in our modern error (era), we see barns clad in this sort of sheet metal siding. We know it can be done economically and we understand that it has its uses. We see this material used in the on barns and other outbuildings in the rear of suburban and rural dwellings, in our alleyways, and perhaps in industrial and utilitarian architecture of squalid commercial streets.
But this is no back yard. This is no alleyway. This is 200 Main Street. This is Old Town Spring. And this building is an eyesore, detracting from the historic feeling and charm that can be found in Old Town Spring.
How so? Why is that? Well, here goes:
This particular application of the metal siding is out of character of the wood and brick buildings in the town. It is augmented by the open gabled vestibule at the entrance and the large triangular parapet at the central roof line of the facade. The builder and decorator together have created what some unknowingly relate to modern modes of architecture in rural Texas. It has a sort of Texas charm to some; it has a certain country flavor. We think not! A country flavor is embodied in wood siding, peeling paint, and not a shiny new metal building. And, certainly not in Old Town Spring. Only worse than the siding, massing and scale that formulate the building, is the window choice. Not only are the windows inoperable, but they are glaring at you! The Amish Barn is an absolute eye sore in the heart of Old Town Spring.
We hope you can see the reason for such a slam. In the mere construction of the building is a certain impropriety, a certain lack of respect for the built environment of what is locally a historic center. These are considerations that should be made in any case. We will not relent. Period.