Barn Updates!

This was a big week for the barn project.

The blackberries are mostly cleared away from the barn.  Thank you to Jim Haack for clearing away the blackberries.

The architectural drawings for the barn have been developed.  Over the years community input has been collected regarding the barn design and use.  This input has been captured in the architectural drawings that were prepared in the past.  Those architectural drawings, along with current understanding of desired future uses for the barn, and current codes were used by the architect to develop a draft set of plans.  Then the project team reviewed the draft drawings and made changes to control costs and keep the design consistent with prior community input.  This was essentially a conceptual design review and value engineering review of the draft architectural plans.  The architect then modified the plans as requested and those plans have been provided to the a City.  We will be posting those plans here and on Facebook in the very near future, and they will be available at the Community Open House. The exterior design has been developed to keep the feeling of the barn and provide code required elevator access and two sets of stairs. The interior space is a preliminary design and will be more fully developed through community input.  The overall goal for the interior is to provide flexible space for many activities and to of course fit within the structural requirements of the building.

DFA is currently working with a contractor to do a constructability review of the design. The idea is to get a contractor’s view of how hard it will be to do the physical work and to get suggestions on modifying the design to make it easier to construct, which will make it more cost effective.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation provided a letter of support to the Duvall City Council. Thanks to Bill and Kristin Connors for getting this barn recognized as an endangered property.

For this project to succeed the DFA, the City, and Westcott homes will be working together. A framework of how the parties will work together and a general description of what agreements will be needed has been written down in a memorandum of understanding (MOU).  The MOU is still being refined but is close to complete.  There was a public hearing regarding the MOU at the Duvall City Council meeting this week.  Testimony was positive.  Thank you to all of the supporters that came to the hearing.

A barn dance has been planned to support this project.  It will be on Friday, October 24.   More details to come! This will be a family event co-sponsored by Duvall Performing Arts.

The project team is growing.  Please join us. Volunteers can sign up on our Barn Volunteer Page.

Please join us for our Community Open House on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11am until 2pm at the Duvall Visitor and Centennial Center.

Big Yellow Barn (formerly the Thayer Barn) Recent History and Updates


  • In the middle of 2013, rumors started about Newhall-Jones possibly selling the Thayer Barn land to a new developer, Westcott Homes.
  • Duvall Foundation of the Arts (DFA) started talking with the city about how this could revitalize the project. At the same time Kristin and Bill Connors became interested in saving the barn as an historic building, and created much public awareness.
  • The City of Duvall, Westcott Homes, DFA, and the Connors all had various meetings, trying to figure out the best next steps for saving the barn.

2014 – January, February

  • In January 2014, Westcott Homes officially purchased the land, which included the Thayer Barn.
  • In January, both DFA and the Connors met with Westcott Homes.
  • Kristin Connors nominated the Thayer Barn to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation for its 2014 Most Endangered Properties list, and to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Structures list.

2014 – March, April

  • Both DFA and the Connors spoke at the Duvall City Council’s Council of the Whole (COW) regarding plans for saving the barn.
  • After meeting with the developer, barn moving company, and barn restoration company, Lin McBride, President of DFA, presented a project outline to the Duvall City Council.
  • Westcott Homes invited all interested parties to meet at their office in Kirkland – in attendance were representatives of the City of Duvall, DFA, the Connors and one independent contractor.
  • The Connors and DFA met with Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, to discuss how to move forward with Westcott Homes for saving the Barn.

2014 – May

  • Lin McBride attended the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation annual meeting/conference in Wenatchee, WA, where the Trust unveiled their 2014 list of Endangered Properties. Duvall’s Thayer Barn was one of five properties on that list. All five properties were highlighted in a video presentation that told the history and circumstances of each property ( The video of the Thayer Barn included interviews with both Kristin Connors and Lin McBride.
  • DFA presented a proposal to Westcott Homes, outlining steps to preserve the Barn in place during the summer/fall of 2014 and 2015, and to move the barn to its permanent location within the Westcott development by 2016.
  • DFA presented a financial plan to Westcott Homes and is currently pursuing funding opportunities.

2014 – Summer

  • The DFA has been working to stabilize the barn with the help of our tireless volunteers.

2014 – September

  • On September 25, the Duvall City Council will vote whether or not to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city, the DFA, and Westcott Homes. Once the MOU is approved, the DFA will have more information for the community.


Community Open House

Have you been wondering about what’s going on with the DFA and the Barn? Now is your chance to learn about what DFA has been doing to restore the Barn, as well as learning about the DFA’s other activities! Please join us Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11:00am-2:00pm at the Duvall Visitor and Centennial Center. We look forward to sharing lots of exciting information with the community! For more information, click here!