While much of the attention on this blog has been paid to the exterior features of the nascent barn, not much has been said about the interior. One of the most significant and visible features of our home is its grand staircase. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and it will become its predominant visual element. Our staircase will command the giant glass solar chimney that defines the entire western side of the home. It is the spine that connects and unifies the entire structure. Our entire stairway will be adorned by massive oak timbers. Timber framing is a centuries old building technique; it’s sustainable, gorgeous, and just plain romantic. In our case, it has a special meaning.
Our three story staircase is adorned with strong, massive timbers milled mostly from a single giant red oak tree grown at our current home. The 100 year old tree was dying of natural causes and was carefully cut down and milled into beams, posts and stair treads for our Chester County barn. A slide show of photos of the milling process can be seen here. Seeing it reassembled and re-purposed in its new home is breathtaking. To us, this exemplifies sustainability.