A $168,158 Somerset County Historic Preservation was last week ceremonially awarded by Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter Palmer of Bernardsville to Eileen Loughnane,of Basking Ridge, accepting the funds on behalf of the Farmstead Arts in Basking Ridge.
The grant funds will be used in a continuing renovation project to prepare the English Barn located on the Farmstead property, for three-season use and install electricity and create barrier free access to the barn, according to the Farmstead Arts, off King George Road.
In addition, monies will be used to stabilize the fireplace in the farmhouse and provide a new tarp to stabilize the cow shed on the property.
The ceremonial check for the 2013 Somerset County Historic Preservation Grant was presented last week by Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer of Bernardsville.
Following a March concert, the Farmstead Arts unveiled the major progress that already had been made in the pre-Revolutionary War English-style barn by that time.
An earlier Somerset County cultural heritage grant was used to install windows and outdoor sidewalks, as well as to make structural changes in the basement of the farmhouse, already in use since the arts center officially opened in October 2010 on the historic Kennedy Martin Stelle property, said Ann Rosenblum, president of the Farmstead Arts.
The English-style barn on the property dates back to the 1730s to 1740s was still in need of additional restoration at that time.
The Farmstead, which hosts art and photography exhibits and encompasses a farmhouse and the barn for buildings, as well as working artists and art education. Exhibitors have been from Basking Ridge, Bernardsville and nearby.
Previous work at the barn done primarily with a state Historic Trust grant.
The $176,000 grant went to install a concrete floor in the old structure, as well as to raise beams to make it more usable, Rosenblum said earlier this year. The floor previously had been made of dirt and old wood.
She said then the Farmstead Arts might apply for further grant money for such improvements as installing electricity and putting in a ramp to make the barn handicapped-accessible.
Eventually, Rosenbblum said the barn is envisioned for such uses as live theater and other exhibits and performances open to the public.
Rosenblum pointed to some of the historic artifacts that remain in the barn, including an old chest and a sleigh. She said the heavy beams overhead had held the structure up for almost 300 years.
The barn is English style, while most barns in the area are Dutch barns, Rosenblum said. She imagined an era in which soldiers fighting in the American Revolution may have slept in the barn, whether Colonial or Red Coats.