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The Pennsylvania Barn

, 368 pages

200 b&w photos

March 2003



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

The Pennsylvania Barn

Its Origin, Evolution, and Distribution in North America

second edition

In his widely acclaimed The Pennsylvania Barn, Robert Ensminger provided the first comprehensive study of an important piece of American vernacular architecture—the forebay bank barn, better known as the Pennsylvania barn or the Pennsylvania German barn. Now, in this revised edition, Ensminger has continued his diligent fieldwork and archival research into the origins, evolution, and distribution in North America of this significant agricultural structure. Including an entire chapter of new material, 85 new illustrations, and updates to previous chapters, this edition of Ensminger's classic work will appeal to students and scholars in cultural and historical geography, folklore and vernacular architectural history, and American studies, as well as to general readers.

Robert F. Ensminger is a professor of geography, emeritus, at Kutztown University.

"Reading the second edition of The Pennsylvania Barn is like sitting at the kitchen table with an old friend."

" The Pennsylvania Barn belongs on the shelf of all students of the vernacular landscape. It is hard to imagine that this monumental work will ever be displaced by a new interpretation."

"A comprehensive study that will be of interest to the general reader as well as scholars and students of the vernacular landscape... The book is profusely illustrated with good photographs, diagrams, and line drawings."

"With the perspective of a master builder and farmer and the eye of an artist, Ensminger guides the reader through the historical development of Pennsylvania barns from their origin in medieval Europe to their present-day uses... All may be identified by studying the photographs generously scattered throughout the text."

"With this volume, Ensminger has drawn our attention to one of the most distinctive buildings in the American landscape, one which offers lessons not only pertinent to American agriculture and ethnic history, but one whose study reveals much about settlement processes. Every scholar concerned with material culture on whatever level will want to read and treasure this book."

"Ensminger's volume may well rank as the best scholarly work to date on the study of a specific American barn type... This enthusiastic Pennsylvania scholar-farmer has produced an attractive and highly readable account of the Pennsylvania barn."

"[A] monumental study... This commendable book offers a fitting tribute to what is undoubtedly the greatest contribution of Pennsylvania Germans to the agricultural landscape."

"Ensminger provides an updating of every chapter that is complete with corrections and additional information that renders a closer picture of Pennsylvania barns. This includes details of form, a greater in-depth look at European connections, a closer scrutiny of the distribution of the barn style and more examples of adaptive re-use. All of this has resulted in a much more comprehensive study of the forebay barn."