The Big Picture: Round Barns

(Image by L. Brian Stauffer)

Call it circular reasoning, but the notion that round barns would boost milk productivity due to “economy of consideration, low maintenance and labor efficiency” prompted UI’s then-Dept. of Dairy Husbandry to construct three ring-shaped structures on the campus’ South Farms District between 1907 and 1913. The trio contributed to an emerging trend, though fewer than 60 round barns currently exist in the U.S. The South Farms District, meantime, landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The barns currently serve as storage spaces.