Iowa Barn Foundation

ISU Barns

Iowa State University Horse Barn & Dairy Barns

Historic Overview

The Iowa State University Horse Barn is of major architectural importance to Iowa and Iowa State.  The roof is gambrel style with turned up eaves. The roof is outfitted with handsome metal ventilators with lightning rods.  The roof includes numerous gabled and shed dormers that accommodate ventilation windows and haymow doors.  (Information from Barns at Iowa State website, and the Iowa Barn Foundation Newsletter, September 2000)

Wide-angle view of the north side of the ISU Horse Barn
ISU Horse Barn.
Aerial view of the ISU Horse Barn - north is at the top.  At the bottom of the photo is University Blvd in Ames, IA - Stange Road is left out of photo (2008).
Arial view ISU Horse Barn.
Proudfoot, Bird and Souers of Des Moines served as the architectural firm.  The two wings designed to house animals were built in 1923; however, the name of the builder is not recorded.  The center wing designed by Proudfoot, Souers and Rawson of Des Moines was constructed by E. B. Castle in 1926.  This addition completed the U-shape design.  This is the north side.
ISU Horse Barn.
The interior of the building is largely original in both design and material.  Numerous box stalls, tie stalls (some with original wood block floors), and group-housing stalls are included along with feed storage, office, and student rooms.  The haymow covers the entire building.  The center wing, originally built in 1926 to house machinery, is currently used for that purpose and also accommodates a breeding stall area and a room for an equine treadmill.
ISU Horse Barn.
Below is the street (south) side of the Horse Barn. The two outside wings provide the various stall types for horses.  On this side the U shape provides a courtyard that is utilized for demonstrations in training and equitation as well as general use in the equine teaching program.  In the spring after colts are born there are interesting family scenes at the courtyard with kids admiring the small horses.
ISU Horse Barn.
Re-roofing, restoration of wood trim, and complete repainting was accomplished in the 1970s.  Repairs were made in 2006.  The barn now has a new roof, windows, doors, fencing, and repaired cupolas.  Also see the Highway 30 Barn Tour of 2008.
ISU Horse Barn.
A new ISU Campus Dairy Farm was developed in 1907 on the south side of Mortensen Road (south of the campus), when this wood-frame Dairy Barn was built (this photo dated 6-7-03).  In 1936 a large U-shaped masonry Dairy Barn and Milking Parlor was built, among other buildings.  See ISU Dairy Science History and the Story County Barn Tour of 2003).
ISU Dairy Barn.
2008 aerial view of the ISU dairy farm site - north is at the top.  Mortensen Road is out of view at the top.  The T-shaped red Dairy Barn near the top was "deconstructed" in 2010.  The U-shaped Dairy Barn and Milking Parlor at the bottom of the photo has been re-purposed.  Read "Doors Closed at Historic Iowa State University Dairy Barns" in the Fall 2003 Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine - (scroll down to find the article) (PDF).
Arial view of ISU Dairy Barns.
Another view of the wooden Dairy Barn on June 7, 2003, while still in use.
ISU Dairy Barn.
Inside view of the Dairy Barn on July 5, 2009, after it was retired from service.
ISU Dairy Barn.
The Dairy Barn in Dec 27, 2009, as it deteriorates.
ISU Dairy Barn.
This photo was taken in March 17, 2010.  It had been determined that the barn was "structurally not very sound" and "The university did opt to have the building 'deconstructed,' meaning that instead of bulldozing it to the ground, the building will be carefully taken apart, and many of the parts will be salvaged and sold."  From Holstein World.
ISU Dairy Barn.
Some other links about the old ISU Campus Dairy Farm

2007 newspaper article about the new dairy research farm

Board of Regents meeting, Mar 15, 2012

Board of Regents meeting, Mar 21, 2012
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Updated 06-21-16.


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