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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > Learn About Topics > Buildings & Bridges > Architectural Styles > Round/Octagonal Barn Style Round/Octagonal Barn Style

Octagonal Barn Style
A Polygonal Barn
Hancock County, IN

DRAWING BY AUDRA CIURAITE

 

Between the years of 1874-1936, 219 polygonal and round barns were constructed throughout Indiana. Polygonal barns with 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, or 16-sides were predominately constructed between 1874-1900. Changes in technology - the advent of the circular silo with an elevator for moving feed, self-supporting roofs, and balloon framing - resulted in true round barns from 1889-1936. These new forms were cheaper, multi-functional, and had more open interiors, making them more efficient than rectangular barns of the time. 
Indiana once had more round barns than any other state, but their numbers are dwindling. As of 2017 there are only 73 of these historic barns remaining—we are down to 1/3 of the barns we once had. 

If you have updated information or photos, please email us at dhpaconnect@dnr.IN.gov
If you would like to learn more about Indiana’s round/polygonal barns, please go to our database (SHAARD) at https://secure.in.gov/apps/dnr/shaard/welcome.html and search the IHSSI database for “round barn” or “polygonal barn.” If you know the name of a specific barn you are interested in, enter the name in the historic name field.