Click to preview Kahn's Big Barn photo book

The "Sanitary Dairy Barn" at Seven Gates Farm was built around 1914, measuring 121 feet long and 39 feet wide. It employed a new method of reinforced concrete construction pioneered by Detroit-based industrial engineer Julius Kahn and his brother Albert Kahn, often heralded as the architect of the modern industrial age. Willoughby Webb, then superintendent of the Farm, worked with the Boston office of Kahn's Trussed Concrete Steel Company to generate the plans for the barn, which incorporated innovative designs for ventilation and easily cleaned surfaces to improve hygiene. The barn housed a successful model dairy, with milk, cream, butter and cheese shipped to markets in Boston, New York and Washington D.C. as well as serving the residents of Martha's Vineyard. The First World War reduced available labor and curtailed production at the dairy, but the operation continued for many years, with the Barn serving as a community gathering place well into the 1960's. In November 2013 it was demolished due to deterioration and lack of funds to restore the barn to it's former glory.
 The photographs were shot in the last two weeks prior to the demolition.


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Bob Gothard

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