Mentryville Barn: Plans Call for Restoration.
By JULIET CHUNG, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
Feb. 8, 2002.

There is virtually no documentary evidence about the barn; however, it seems likely that it was built for Mr. Mentry when the house was built.

The physical evidence that the barn was built at the same time as the Superintendent's House is based on the fact that the original color of paint on both the house and the house is the same color of light gray. The original paint can still be seen on the exterior face of the barn in the side shed (Room 103).

There are two historic photos of the barn that document alterations to the building. The earliest photograph shows that there was a tiny shed on the east side of the barn (The Story of Mentryville, Page 6). The second photograph shows that the original shed structure was enlarged to the size it is now (Room 103). The new section of the shed is in fact painted a different color than the original section (Santa Clarita Valley A Pictorial History 1876-1926, Page 49).

The importance of the barn is that it is virtually intact from the original period of construction. Of all of the buildings on the site it is the least altered.

The approach that we are taking to rehabilitate the barn is to maintain all of the original architectural members of the structure. Wherever we have to augment the structural system of the barn we are keeping the original members and installing additional new members that will help support the structure. The new structural members will be unpainted wood like the original in order to keep the new members from overwhelming the visual appearance of the original architectural details.

The main difference between the new and the old is that the new wood details will be clean fresh wood compared to the dark aged color of the original members. The barn will be equipped with a sprinkler system to protect the barn. The new electrical system will use black pipe conduit that is surface mounted in order to eliminate any permanent damage to the wooden framing members.

The primary change to the building is the removal of the original wood sill, which is deteriorated and failing. It will be replaced by concrete footings that will support the structure and keep it from touching the soil. The original floorboards that come from old-growth trees are unusual due to their great length. They are valuable historically as part of the original fabric of the barn and as a natural resource that cannot be easily replaced. The floorboards were numbered and a measured drawing was prepared showing their location in Rooms 101 and 102. The floorboards were carefully removed in sequence and stored so that they could be returned to their original location after the new foundation and floor joists was completed. The floorboards will be nailed back into place using the original nail holes.

When the floor is reinstalled it will be difficult to tell that it has been removed. There is a section of the floor in Room 101 that no longer survives. It will be replaced with new floor boards that are similar to the original.

The Barn is an extremely important architectural and historical document of Mentryville and the Santa Clarita Valley. [Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority] and its consultants have given great consideration to the development of plans and procedures and the construction crew has worked carefully to ensure that the Barn is preserved and that original architectural features and structural members survive intact.

The work has been planned to meet the Secretary of the Interiors Guidelines for Preservation, Rehabilitation and Restoration of Historic Structures, which is the national standard for the treatment of buildings of architectural and cultural value.

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