Red barn on Warner Road near Concord/Hopkinton line to be preserved

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (center) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (center) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Domenici moves a sliding door on the front of red barn on Warner Road in Concord on April 9. Because the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out, the structure is in solid shape.

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Domenici moves a sliding door on the front of red barn on Warner Road in Concord on April 9. Because the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out, the structure is in solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

The red barn on Warner Road in Concord will  be preserved.

The red barn on Warner Road in Concord will be preserved. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

 The fact the red barn on Warner Road had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

The fact the red barn on Warner Road had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Domenici moves a sliding door on the lower level of the red barn on Warner Road in Concord on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Domenici moves a sliding door on the lower level of the red barn on Warner Road in Concord on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Colarusso on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

Cedar Mill Group project manager Nick Colarusso on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (right) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (right) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape.

The fact the barn had a solid roof that kept the rain out of the structure, the barn is solid shape. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (right) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9.

Cedar Mill Group project managers Nick Colarusso (right) and Nick Domenici on the first floor of the red barn the company purchased on Tuesday, April 9.

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff

Published: 04-11-2024 4:53 PM

Modified: 04-14-2024 12:16 PM


For drivers in the Concord area, the old red barn on Warner Road is a quintessential directional landmark — whether to get to the Hopkinton Fair or a friend’s house. It’s more than just a structure – it’s a piece of history etched into the landscape of the community.

Nick Domenici, like many others, has driven past the iconic barn several times, slowing down to admire its rustic charm. Last fall, however, a peculiar sight caught his eye. The barn’s usually closed barn door stood ajar, and in front of it was a pile of discarded materials free for anyone to take.

Adjacent to the pile, was a “for sale” sign, signaling a shift in the barn’s history.

Spurred by an impulse, Domenici wasted no time. He drove back home and called Nick Colarusso, his business partner, with an exciting proposition — they should buy the barn.

And so they did in February, their decision rooted in the synergy of their company, Cedar Mill Group, renowned for its expertise in remodeling and historic preservation.

Over the years, they’ve transformed many homesteads for clients, breathing new life into old spaces. But the red barn at the intersection of Warner Road, Horse Hill Road, and Black Water Road, known as the Bennett Farm Barn on the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources inventory list, is a passion project – an opportunity to indulge their own creative vision.

“The barn is now our baby,” they said separately, marveling at the structure that had withstood the winds of time since at least 1817. “The whole goal is to save the barn.”

In a time when historic buildings often fall prey to developers looking to address housing shortages by converting them into affordable homes, Domenici and Colarusso remain strong in their commitment to preserve rather than transform. The cost of repairing and bringing the 40-foot-by-70-foot barn up to code could reach $500,000.

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“These barns keep getting knocked down but let’s save it. We can’t save them all. But we can save this one,” said Colarusso, explaining their emotional connection to the project. “We’re not making any money at this but we can say we own a barn.”

The barn with its weathered exterior sits on a 4.9-acre parcel of land. Domenici and Colarusso purchased the barn from Rich Jobin. No value was assigned to the barn, but it and the 2 acres it came with were sold for $175,000

In the 1900s, Jobin’s grandfather had used the barn for farming, storing hay bales and raising poultry. Inside the wooden barn, there is still some farm equipment and partitions that might once have been for livestock, like goats or sheep.

Despite the ravages of time, the barn’s core structure remains remarkably intact. Its main beams stand sturdy, and the metal roof with no leaks is a testament to its durability – a feature that will be carefully preserved during the upcoming renovations.

Looking at the barn’s exterior, one can’t help but notice the stark contrast between its two sides. While the north facade has well-preserved horizontal siding, largely unscathed by the elements, the opposite facade tells a different story. It’s weather-beaten and worn and could fall apart under pressure.

They intend to begin work on the two-and-a-half-story barn, which spans 40 feet and 70 feet, this summer, beginning with the installation of utilities. The foundation will then be excavated.

While Domenici and Colarusso have yet to decide what they want the barn to be and need approval from the city of Concord, they want to preserve the structure for future generations.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. But she’s standing and she’ll keep standing for the test of time,” said Domenici.