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Submitted on
September 30, 2008
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Arcadia Round Barn I by rjcarroll Arcadia Round Barn I by rjcarroll
9/2/08 - Round Barn, Route 66, Arcadia, Oklahoma.

The Arcadia Round Barn was built in 1898. It originally served as a home for livestock and a place where dances were held for the local townspeople. As traffic slowly declined on Route 66, the town of Arcadia declined with it and after suffering decades of neglect, in 1988 the barn's immense 60' diameter roof finally collapsed. The cost of repair: a staggering $165,000 dollars.

Luther "Luke" Robison (a retired building contractor) had long admired the Round Barn and decided that he would save it from utter ruin. He and the Over the Hill Gang, (a group of retirees) volunteered their time, money and skill to the task. Over a period of four years for only $65,000 dollars they were able to restore the barn! By recruiting lots of volunteers, selling inscribed commemorative bricks, setting up a roadside donation box and accepting donations of equipment and labor, the enormous undertaking was accomplished.

As the only truly "round" barn (most are actually hexagonal or octagonal), the Barn is 60' in diameter, 45' in height and is two stories high. The upstairs loft has a wooden floor and an architecturally impressive ceiling. The structure was designed with the notion that being round would help it withstand Oklahoma's tornado conditions. No one knows for sure if it is scientifically accurate, but the barn is still standing after more than 110 years!

*While I was there, an older gentleman was working in the gift shop and a woman was asking him what they used the second level for. He responded that it was used for parties, barn dances, special functions and just about everything else you can think of with the exception of square dances. She asked why square dances were excluded and before the man could answer "because it is a round barn", I laughed out loud... :lol:
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Blewdowner76 Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
hey RJcarroll, i read your pic description and can attest that these structures are well built to withstand tornado's. my father and i built a geodesic dome some years ago and recently was hit directly by a tornado that hit my hometown of Shawnee, OK. (May 19th 2013) It was the only thing left standing afterwards, hopefully i can post some pic's in the near future to give people an idea the structural integrity of these buildings.
rjcarroll Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Professional Photographer
Awesome! Thanks for the insight!
FilipaGrilo Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
FEATURED [link] :iconoldarchitecturelover: :hug:
RonTheTurtleman Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012
Last week, we were traveling down a few short stretches of Route 66. I took some shots of a round barn just north of Cimic Illinois. It sure looked pretty darn round to me, but I must admit, the roof on this one is rounder than anything I've seen.
rjcarroll Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
Not too many round ones left it seems. I'd love to get back on 66 one of these days!
RonTheTurtleman Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
I also need to thank you for the square dance joke. I've put a little more mileage on it.
rjcarroll Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Professional Photographer
KDMB Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
Just wonderful! I loved in OK briefly, thanks for the journey back.....and I still love to ramble the old Route 66 when I get back to the midwest...
rjcarroll Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thanks! Loved 66 in OK; one of my fav 66 states!
SnowLeopard314159 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012
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