HARVARD -- While there are still no interested takers in the barn on Stow Road, the seemingly dilapidated old carriage house across the street will be restored and moved to a farm in Rhode Island.

The two buildings are located on the Great Elms property owned by the Chelmsford Housing Authority, which plans to build six new affordable housing units there.

The carriage house will be deconstructed and restored to live once more on a private property in Avondale, R.I. Brian Cooper, owner of Early New England Restorations, said the property owners seek to recreate an 18th-century farm.

Cooper estimated that the structure is from the late 18th or early 19th century. His goal is to stick to the historical makeup of the structure as much as possible, from wood to iron.

"All of the building looks pretty rough," Cooper said. "When I'm done with it, it'll be beautiful."

He said he's hoping to use wrought-iron fasteners for the project, as that was the metal of choice in the 18th century. Any rotted wood pieces of the carriage house will be replaced with 200-year-old timber.

Cooper gave the building a grade of C- and admitted it is in pretty rough shape. But then, he said, he saw the five-sided ridge pole that attaches to the rafters running across the peak of the house -- "a difficult little piece of work."

He said that kind of pole was eventually abandoned because it was a lot of work to construct, but it was definitely superior to others.


The carriage house will likely be used at its new home for tractors, wagons and other tools, he said. A work team will be up from Connecticut in about two weeks to begin dismantling, which will take about two and a half to three weeks.

Meanwhile, the barn across the road is still up for grabs.

"We're really hoping that somebody's going to be able to come in and take it," said Connie Donahue, executive director of CHOICE, the nonprofit sector of CHA that is overseeing the affordable-housing project.

Unlike the carriage house, Cooper said the barn is in A-grade shape. It's highly usable and easy to dismantle, he said.

"It could be reappropriated into something else," he said. "It could make a great house, it could make a great addition to any agricultural environment."

CHOICE has been working with Dan Shields of 18th and 19th Century Recycling in Spencer to find someone interested in taking the barn. If no one takes it, it will have to be torn down.

Follow Amelia on Twitter and Tout @AmeliaPakHarvey.