Zoller-Frasier Round Barn, Newville New York

Date added: April 07, 2023 Categories: New York Barn Round Barn
North from driveway (1984)

The Zoller - Frasier barn is located in a remote farming district in Herkimer County, some two miles south of the Mohawk River and eight miles east of Little Falls New York. The barn is situated at the top of a bluff overlooking the Mohawk Valley approximately 1000 feet north of Fords Bush Road. It is surrounded by open meadows to the north, west and south. At the east stands a Greek Revival period farmhouse, three small sheds, and woods.

The barn is round in plan with a diameter of approximately 80 feet. It is constructed with clapboard-sided stud walls above a low mortared stone foundation wall and features a conical roof with a round cupola. The ground features a concentric stanchion layout around a central, stud-framed silo. This silo extends upward through the first floor to its top halfway above the roof plate and the cupola. The silo features three small access ports at different levels with permanently attached ladders and is structurally independent of the barn's wall and roof structure. A pole ladder rising up through the silo provides access to the cupola. The roof of the barn is built of light, radiating rafters that receive intermediate support from a circular purlin, in turn supported by a heavy hexagonal plate and six squared columns with short diagonal braces. A circular hayfork track is hung from the rafters.

The exterior of the barn features a projecting entrance bay at the south with a graded ramp, a large entrance opening, and a modified gambrel roof. Several small windows are irregularly placed around the ground and first floors. The roof consists of wood shingles covered by composition shingles. The cupola includes six combination louver and window openings and is sheathed in wood shingles. It is covered by a flaired, conical roof.

The Zoller-Frasier barn, built c. 1895, is historically and architecturally significant as an early and virtually unaltered example of a round barn with a central silo in New York State. The barn features innovations in plan and arrangement including a self-supporting central silo and a circular stanchion layout. It also features the earliest example in the thematic group of a circular hay fork track. Structurally, the barn illustrates a particularly advantageous use of balloon framing to create a variety of curved and conical forms in a structurally efficient and cost-effective manner. The propriety of the type of construction is confirmed by its sound condition despite decades of inadequate maintenance. Architecturally, the barn represents a logical expression of the functions that occur within it. Visually, the barn is the beneficiary of an incomparable setting, which isolates this structure as a prominent feature of the open landscape surrounding it.

The barn was built for Jacob Zoller, known only as a pioneer food processor from Little Falls. It is in fair condition, with almost no loss of integrity, and continues to shelter a dairy herd and farm machinery.

Zoller-Frasier Round Barn, Newville New York North from driveway (1984)
North from driveway (1984)

Zoller-Frasier Round Barn, Newville New York Detail of cupola (1984)
Detail of cupola (1984)

Zoller-Frasier Round Barn, Newville New York North from Fords Bush Road (1984)
North from Fords Bush Road (1984)

Zoller-Frasier Round Barn, Newville New York Interior showing silo (1984)
Interior showing silo (1984)