The Knauss Homestead Barn Restoration Project
Restoration work is underway at the Knauss Homestead barn!
If you haven’t been out to the Knauss Homestead lately, you may not know that we are undertaking a MASSIVE renovation project!
Our beautiful Pennsylvania Bank Barn is getting a full restoration, from the foundation walls to the incredible new bluestone terrace going out back. Our vision is for the barn to serve as a community gathering place, perfect for family events, corporate functions, or anything you can think of that will contribute to the future of Emmaus.
The History of the Knauss Homestead Barn
While details are a bit sketchy, we know that the barn that sits at the Heinrich Knauss House is not the original barn. We believe that the original barn was destroyed by fire sometime in the 1850s, and was rebuilt shortly after that on the original foundation. You can clearly see at least one remaining support beam in the cellar level of the barn is charred and kept from the original structure. Based on what we do know, the barn continued to function as a place for the Knauss men to continue their wheelwright practice and tend to their livestock. There is a rumor that when the original barn burned, the Knauss family lost a beloved horse in the blaze – and that later someone working in the upper levels of the barn suffered a fatal fall. We are continuing to investigate both of these clues.
PHASE I: SPRING & SUMMER 2022
The first step in the process was to remove all of the old, worn asbestos shingles from the outside of the barn. Luckily, the barn boards underneath were in remarkable condition!
The second step in Phase I was to completely clean out the inside of the barn, removing any objects that weren’t original to the space, and clearing it so we could better assess what we’d need to do to transform it into a safe, beautiful community area. That’s been completed with the help of the Borough of Emmaus, and we’re well on our way to planning some wonderful improvements – without sacrificing the authenticity or rustic feel of the barn.
PHASE II: FALL 2022
With some of the major first steps behind us, we wanted to create a more usable, beautiful outdoor space to take advantage of what makes the Knauss Homestead such a beautiful place. We decided to consult with our friends at Cerminaro Stone in Quakertown, who are skilled masons, to see what we could add to create an outdoor terrace, but keeping within the look and feel of our barn. What they came up with was not only beautiful, but makes our barn much safer and secure for events and community gatherings. Now, our guests have a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors for anything from a small painting class to a larger wedding reception. The possibilities are endless!
Following the completion of the terrace, we’ll be working with Precise Buildings to restore the barn’s foundation walls, ground floor, doors, windows, and roof. This will further expand the safe, usable space and make the barn weather-tight and secure. Even though the barn is in beautiful shape, it’s never been used for larger gatherings, so we have to take every step in making sure the old girl can support our vision!
PHASE III: WINTER 2023
With cold weather on the horizon, we’ll be moving back to the design phase of our project to refine exactly how the barn will look, and function. Initial plans are to add accessible bathrooms, a small commercial kitchen, and upgrading our electrical service and connectivity to ensure that those wanting to hold events here are able to do so safely and without compromise.
As we progress, we’ll share our designs with you all. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!
Seeing is believing: A VIEW OF OUR PROGRESS
Thank You For Your Support:
The Fischer Family Foundation
Cerminaro Stone Supply
follow our progress
MORE FROM OUR BLOG
It’s time to celebrate at the Knauss Homestead as part of the Emmaus Old Fashioned Christmas on December 3rd!
Here’s a quick recap of all that we’ve accomplished in the second half of the year at the Knauss Homestead from our resident historian and Treasurer, John Schmoyer.
October 22, 2022
12:00 NOON – 5:00 PM
Join us as we welcome fall with some of our community’s best artists and crafters while enjoying craft beer, wine, and lots of area food trucks, bakeries, and artisan kitchens!