Welcome to the Iowa Barn Foundation

Preserving Iowa's barns is a worthwhile endeavor!

Matching Grants

The Iowa Barn Foundation has awarded more than 119 matching grants, with a total of over one million dollars to property owners to help them preserve their barns. There are two kinds of matching grants:

Grant form "A"

For those barns that, upon completion of work, will be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. These barns may need restoration--more work than those in category "B".

Grant form "B"

For those barns that may not be as historic as those in category "A," but the barns must be important to the landscape and the community. Many will be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places upon completion of work. Most of these barns will receive rehabilitation grants--smaller grants for sealing foundations, new roofs, siding, etc.

Barns that qualify for either type of matching grant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

   ⚫  The barn must be at least 50 years old.

   ⚫  The barn must be located on its original site.

   ⚫  The siding must be wooden. Metal siding is acceptable if it is at least 50 years old.

   ⚫  The barn should have some architectural significance or significance to the community.
   For example:

         ⚫  Is it a landmark?

         ⚫  Is it large (over 40' wide and 60' long)?

         ⚫  Is it architecturally unique (e.g., square, round, U-shaped, made of stone, etc.)?

         ⚫  Was it built before 1870?

         ⚫  Was it built or owned by someone important in Iowa's agricultural history?

         ⚫  Was a new breed of livestock introduced there?

         ⚫ Was the barn built using blueprints (e.g., Louden Machinery Co., Gordon-Van Tine, etc.) that you still have?

The Iowa Barn Foundation's Board of Directors prefers that barn roofs be replaced with a composition material or with wooden shingles in keeping with the barn's original look. The Iowa Barn Foundation will pay its share of composition roofing but will not pay the entire cost of wooden shingles. If wooden shingles are used, the owner must pay the difference between composition material and wooden shingles. In special cases, the Board of Directors will support the use of metal roofing although this is not in keeping with the barn's original look.

You can return your completed matching grant application at any time for consideration by the Iowa Barn Foundation's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors meets several times a year to review the submitted matching grant applications. Matching grant applications that do not arrive in time to be reviewed at one board meeting will be reviewed at the next.

After a matching grant is awarded, a board member or county representative will make a site visit to discuss the project with the owner. The property owner has one year to start the restoration/rehabilitation project and two years to complete it. The barn must be restored as closely as possible to its original condition, for example, no metal siding or metal windows. Anyone receiving a matching grant must be able to provide matching funds. In addition, property owners must sign a perpetual easement that is recorded at their county courthouse. The barn must be maintained through the years, and it cannot be torn down.

Finally, in order to receive a check, the barn's outside must be totally restored. In other words, the project must be completed -- windows repaired, foundation leveled, doors replaced, cupolas straightened, paint. All of these projects should be considered when applying for a matching grant and wrapped into the total cost. Depending on the availability of funds, the Iowa Barn Foundation may not necessarily match the amount specified on the matching grant application.

Please include the following items with your completed grant application. None of these items will be returned to you:

   ⚫  Completed matching grant application form

   ⚫  "Before" photos of the barn with your name on the back

   ⚫  Signed easement form

   ⚫  At least three separate estimates for the repairs

   ⚫  Anything else mentioned on the matching grant application


For more information about grant applications, contact
Ann Harvey   515-255-5213


Thank you again for your interest in saving your barn and for your interest in the Iowa Barn Foundation.

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Updated 06-23-17.


The Iowa Barn Foundation: Helping to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage one barn at a time.


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