CUYAHOGA FALLS: Wanted. Volunteers to put a new face on an old landmark.
And you must not have a fear of heights.
Falls law director Paul Janis plans to trade his law books for a hammer and paint brush during the next six weekends or so to direct the restoration of the Keyser Park Barn on Bath Road.
The barn will serve as the backdrop for an ice cream social planned for Aug. 3 as part of the Cuyahoga Falls Bicentennial celebration.
But before that can happen, slate roof shingles and existing siding must be removed and replaced and the 50 by 30 feet barn must be painted. The final touch will be adding the city’s Bicentennial logo.
Janis said this is a big project. Fortunately, he has some experience in reclaiming historic buildings.
An amateur carpenter, Janis attended North Bennet Street School in Boston, Mass., for two years beginning in 2008 and is formally trained in restoration carpentry.
The Keyser barn was built in 1913. The Keyser family sold some of the property to the city in 1986, and the remainder in 1993, with a caveat that it be used for family recreation.
A park was built on some of the property.
The Northampton Historical Society has been raising money to restore the barn and the older farmhouse. The Society has partnered with the city for the barn’s exterior restoration with each contributing $10,000.
A lot of craftsmanship went in to building the barn, Janis said.
“It’s a timber-frame barn,” Janis said. “It’s held together with mortise and tenon joints.”
There are no nails, no studs and no sheathing.
Janis was able to find an exact replica of the verticle wood siding on the barn.
“When you install vertically, you have to have three guys, one on top of the other, installing [the siding] one on top of the other,” Janis said.
To do that, volunteers will work on scaffolding.
There is some painting that will be done at ground level.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer can show up today or next weekend between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers must provide their own safety equipment, be comfortable using power tools and will be required to sign a liability waiver.
Janis said he needs 10 or 15 volunteers each weekend in order to get the project done by the end of July.
“It’s really a worthwhile project and it’s going to be a nice addition to the city to have a legacy of what we did this year,” Janis said. “I think it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done.”