A new park run by the Lorain County Metro Parks will include the historic Johnson House barn.
Most of the aging, approximately 150-year-old barn will be will be salvaged and moved to the new park site at 46621 US 20 just west of Rt. 58 and across from Wal-Mart, said Jim Ziemnik, Metro Parks director. It will converted into an arts and entertainment venue.
The 11-acre park, scheduled to open in Spring 2017, will be Metro Parks’ 31st park. The $850,000 project is being done by Amherst-based Star Design-Build Contractors.
The land was donated to the county park system by Kathleen Nord, according to property records. It was formerly the site of the Land Concepts Co.
Ziemnik said the barn will hold between 120 and 150 people. It will be used for art displays, historical presentations, musical performances, and plays as well as private events such as birthday parties, corporate gatherings, and family reunions.
“There’s a whole host of things we’re going to be able to address as part of this building and park site,” Ziemnik said. “We’re really excited about it.”
The barn is at 216 South Professor St. at the South Street intersection behind the Johnson House and student garden. The Johnson House, also known as the Hebrew Heritage House, was built in 1885 and is Oberlin College’s second-oldest residence hall. It is the only hall designated solely for Jewish students.
The Civil War-era barn was donated by the college to the park system. It has been renovated a couple of times since its construction but is in disrepair. Ziemnik said the roof is close to collapsing and much of the floor has rotted.
Salvage efforts will begin next week. The barn will be disassembled and moved in August.
Ziemnik said a freed slave is believed to have lived in the barn and while it is in poor condition, it’s worth being saved. “It’s historically significant because of all the uses and because it’s been there so long,” he said.
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.
Evan Goodenow | Oberlin News-Tribune The approximately 150-year-old Johnson House barn at 216 South Professor St. will be renovated and moved into a new park on US 20 run by the Lorain County Metro Parks.