The art of construction celebrated at Berkshire Botanical Garden barn raising

Workers attached the final trusses to the frame of a building under construction at Berkshire Botanical Gardens on Saturday, January 21. Photo courtesy of Shaw Israel Izikson.

Stockbridge — The Berkshire Botanical Gardens celebrated time-honored building techniques with a barn-raising event on Saturday, January 21st.

The organization has embarked on the construction of a new building on the site, which will be used for the garden camp program farm. Made from locally harvested and milled wood including Eastern White Pine, Ash, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Shad and Red Oak wood. Funding for the building was donated by Barbara and Melissa her Leonhardt in honor of her mother Anne, who donated the funds through her New York Community Trust.

Scott Brockway of Berkshire Wood Products in Windsor is the project manager for the construction of a new building at the Berkshire Botanic Gardens. Photo by Shaw Israel Ijiksson.

During the barn extension event on January 21, the organization held a celebratory event when the building’s final truss was installed. This includes a fiddle and guitar duo, old-school apple cider music, and someone building the building.

The new building is the organization’s first new infrastructure project since 2017, according to Thaddeus Thompson, executive director of the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. Thompson told Berkshire Edge. “It would also be a beautiful place to host a flower show. From my point of view, this is a very organic structure, highlighting the beauty of this material and its great craftsmanship. The lost art of , and the people we build this with are true artisans with a real passion for wood and building methodologies.

Carpenter and consultant Adam Miller works on a new building at Berkshire Botanic Gardens on Saturday, January 21st. Photo credit: Shaw Israel Izikson.

Working on the project is Dalton’s Schnopp Construction, with Scott Brockway, project manager at Berkshire Wood Products in Windsor, and carpenter Adam Miller, who consulted on the project and created the final design for the building. doing. “There’s a tradition in using wood to build buildings,” he says, Mr. Brockway. “It’s a lot of work because it’s very tedious and repetitive, but there are craftsmen who carry on this tradition with passion. There are no metal pegs or fittings.When we built the buildings 150 to 200 years ago, people had to use what they had.”

Berkshire Botanic Garden Executive Director Thaddeus Thompson and some of the wooden pegs used in the construction of the building. At an event on Saturday, January 21, Thompson told the organization’s employees, construction workers who are part of the project, and project funders Barbara and Melissa his Leonhardt, that the pegs were installed just before they were installed in the building. was signed by Photo by Shaw Israel Ijiksson.
Brockway speaks to the audience about the building project as Miller looks on. Photo by Shaw Israel Ijiksson.

“Today, construction is all about assembling parts according to local and international building codes,” said Brockway. “In the old days, construction was a true art and craftsmanship.”

The building is expected to be completed by May, Thompson said.

For more information about The Berkshire Botanical Garden, visit its website.

Event attendees watch as construction workers place the final truss into the frame of a barn at Berkshire Botanical Gardens. Photo by Shaw Israel Ijiksson.

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