A 19th Century NY Dairy Barn Finds Its Way to East Asheville

Written by Joanne O’Sullivan. Photo by Katie Charlotte.

Written by Joanne O’Sullivan. Photo by Katie Charlotte.

Well, you don’t see this everyday. It still amazes me how there are people out there with the vision and skills to make this happen. The house is stunning, but the concept to make it happen is truly the star.


Outside-the-box thinking can lead to the most extraordinary results. That’s the case with a striking but understated home tucked into a cove in East Asheville, designed by Samsel Architects and constructed by Jade Mountain Builders.

It started with an idea: a barn. Not a particular barn, just a barn with a particular footprint—2,800 square feet. The homeowners were retiring and planning to move from their long-time residence in Orlando. There was no lot purchased, indeed not even a zip code in mind. Just the idea of buying an old barn and converting it into a contemporary home where the main living space would be on one floor.

“I am a general contractor and I know how to do this stuff,” says the husband. “We did this pretty backwards.”

The search for a barn led the couple to Heritage Restorations, a company in Waco, Texas, with scouts around the U.S. and in Europe focused on finding and purchasing old barns and other timber-frame buildings. They found the structure they were looking for on the company’s website: a circa-1870 dairy barn still standing and in good condition in Little Falls, New York.