Monroe to demolish last stone barn

Efforts to preserve it as a caretaker’s house underway

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  • Although not labeled historic, these barns are considered a piece of Monroeís history to longtime residents who remember when the area was green and dotted with dairy barns.

  • Photos by Jim Nelson The barn at the former Faber Farm is one of only five left standing in the Town of Monroe, and the only one made of stone. Itís now slated to be demolished.

  • Although there are efforts to save the barn, town engineer Mark Edsall judged the barn's condition as dangerous.

MONROE — There are five barns left standing in the Town of Monroe, and one in particular is slated to be demolished.

Although not labeled historic, these barns are considered a piece of Monroe’s history to longtime residents who remember when the area was green and dotted with dairy barns.

This particular barn, made of stone, is located on the former Faber Farm, which was purchased by the town nine years ago for $750,000.

The town acquired 216 acres, bit by bit over 20 years, to create one contiguous piece with the right-of-way that extends from Rye Hill Road to the hamlet of Mombasha.

The land is now used for ball fields and walking trails, after town officials heeded the plea from residents for more park area as the town population grew.

Now the town wants to tear the barn down. It’s plan is to build a cultural art center on the site.

In his engineering report, the town’s engineer Mark Edsall noted the barn is in dangerous condition and should be taken down due to the bottom floor structure weakness.

Although the barn is not considered historic, it could be converted to a caretaker’s house and storage for lawn mowers, according to former town councilman James Rogers. That concept was used at the Orange and Rockland lake, he added.

“It could be rented out,” Rogers said, “and the $6,000-7,000 a year income could be used for town park use.

“It makes no sense to tear it down,” he added. “Just leave it.”

Rogers, who is spearheading the movement to save the barn, said the town bought the property for the use of passive recreation.

Pat Cappola, a member of the planning board, appeared before the town board recently. He, also, is trying to save the barn.

But Councilman Rick Colon said: “We are taking the barn down.”

Roger said he and other concerned residents will attend the next town board meeting in an effort to preserve one of the town’s last surviving stone barns.

Piece by piece

The following properties were purchased by the town over the 20 years.

Orlando family: 40 acres
Puya property: 76 acres
Faber Farm: 25 acres
Harriman family: 20 acres
Developers: 55 acres

By Claudia Wysocki

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