I love to reuse, repurpose and redesign whenever possible, but sometimes when I think I’m done with a project I discover an amazing item calling my name. And when that happens, I make sure I pay attention to three important rules. One: It must be old. Two: Have great craftsmanship, and Three: It must be unique. If the answers are “Yes times 3″ only then will I consider bringing it home.
Several weeks ago I discovered a wonderful old cupola that was over a hundred years old, and when I first saw it — I fell in love with it. It was a resounding “yes” to my three rules, so I quickly brought it home, then called my handyman Felix to come over and begin the necessary repairs. A new copper roof was added, replacing the old aluminum one. Then a new base, some minimal reinforcing was added and it was ready to go up. Don’t get overly excited, as this is just the beginning of what’s to come. Over the next couple of weeks, each individual wood piece will be scrutinized and either restored or replaced to original glory. A new paint job will follow come spring 2012, just in time for the garden tours.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve researched the design and found that my star cupola may have been influenced by “The Star Barn,” a National Historic Landmark built in 1870’s in Middletown, Pennsylvania. The Star Barn dates back to the 1700’s but became more popular after the Civil War, especially due to the prominent star design on its side. I was told my cupola was over a hundred years old, and also originated from a Pennsylvania barn. Although the Star Barn’s cupolas themselves do not feature stars I wonder if they could even be related? Perhaps, although the star emblem is not that rare in the area as over the years many homes around Pennsylvania were also inspired by and incorporated this great design.
The “Star” designs are considered good luck and good fortune, a lot like a horseshoe or a shamrock. I personally fell in love with the simplistic aesthetic design that also happens to match the way I designed my circular star window in my home.
As my readers know, Rosebrook Gardens takes you back in time by taking something old such as this cupola and making it something new again. I believe in giving these items a new voice by restoring them and protecting their history for all to enjoy in the present. Now that’s a perfect example of Life on Mar’s!
The Star Barn is considered to be the most recognizable barn in North America; that said, I can only hope my star cupola will also have that same appeal – and if good luck comes, too, well I’m totally good with that.