Blue Ball Dairy Barn

Location: Delaware

Project Area: 5,000 square feet + 6,500 square foot addition

Awards: AIA Philadelphia Honor Award AIA Delaware Honor Award for Design Preservation Delaware, Honorable Mention Award AIA Delaware Earth Day Award for Sustainable Design Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia Preservation Achievement

The Blue Ball Dairy Barn was constructed in 1914. The classically styled dairy barn and adjacent milkhouse were designed to demonstrate the highest standards of the scientific agriculture movement as practiced in the first half of the twentieth century.

As part of an extensive redevelopment of the area, a new park unit of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control was created. The Blue Ball Dairy Barn serves as an interpretive center for the park, with exhibits, public meeting spaces, and support offices. The barn also houses the State of Delaware's folk art collection.

JMA Preservation was the historic preservation consultant for the adaptive reuse of the Blue Ball Dairy Barn and Milk House. JMA Preservation, as a consultant to Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC (WRT), worked with the client to develop the architectural design and prepare construction documents for the rehabilitation of the facility. The project was designed to comply with the requirements of LEED Gold Certification for sustainable design.

The barn serves as a model for the successful integration of historic preservation with high performance sustainable design. The challenge was to balance the impacts of adaptive reuse with historic preservation. It was met through the use of an integrated design process focused on sustainable design that employed extensive thermal and moisture modeling in a process which informed the design decisions. Design goals called for maximizing the flexible public and private use of the facility, and serving as a learning tool for history, culture, built and natural systems.