July 05, 2012

The House That Barns Built

25 Years to Build -- Never Really Finished

In 1972, Jim Pendleton began building his dream house. He’d actually conceived and designed it a decade earlier and entered his blueprints in a state fair competition.

This was, though, no ordinary house. Located near Spencer, Indiana; it was constructed from the remnants of more than 25 barns Jim had demolished.  Known locally as the “Barn House”, the structure was probably never actually finished, being instead a perpetual work in progress that consumed Jim for over twenty-five years.

The Barn House contained 41 rooms, 15 stairways and 15 walking decks. There were secret passages and tunnels, peepholes, a room with 688 hats, a prayer alcove, and a "quickie" room, the purpose of which I’ll leave to your imagination.  It’s said that Jim often recommended to visitors that they sun themselves in the nude on one of his many decks.

Sadly, the Barn House burned to the ground several years ago. Prior to that, however, I had a chance to take a tour of the whimsical mansion and meet the curious Jim Pendleton. With the house now reduced to ashes and the overgrown with vegetation, perhaps this video becomes poignant a piece of architectural folk history.

Posted in: News Rooms & Spaces Parts of the House Floors Wood Outdoor Projects Decks, Patios & Porches Outdoor Structures Woodworking & Workshop Carpentry
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