To recognize those barns possessing architectural and historic significance across the state, DAHP developed a nomination form whereby owners are able to describe the character-defining features of their historic barns and provide a narrative history of the structure and associated farmstead. The two-page form allows owners to identify building features such as roof form, siding material, barn ornamentation, etc. using a check-list format. By submitting the form to the state’s architectural historian with DAHP, owners can nominate their structures for designation as official Washington State Heritage Barns.

If the barn meets the designation criteria (building must be over 50 years old, retain a significant degree of its historic integrity, etc.), DAHP’s architectural historian accepts the nomination materials are accepted and forwards the information to members of the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). As an appointed body, the ACHP reviews Heritage Barn nomination materials and formally accepts eligible structures for listing in the Heritage Barn Register at their regularly scheduled meetings throughout the year.

As of May 2015, the ACHP has officially designated over of 625 structures in each of the 39 counties across the state as official Heritage Barns. Designation as a Heritage Barn is an honorary recognition – listing in the Heritage Barn Register is a means to highlight the significance of these structures and associated agricultural buildings while acknowledging the long-term stewardship of barn owners. Designation carries no regulatory constraints for owners of Heritage Barns and proposed changes or alterations to these structures, including demolition, can be implemented without review. Designation does, however, make owners of Heritage Barns eligible to apply for matching grants designed to assist owners with projects to stabilize and rehabilitate listed structures. For more information on the Heritage Barn Register, including access to nomination forms and technical assistance, visit DAHP’s website.

County by County map of designated Heritage Barns