“Each farm is a segment
of the earth’s surface which has been organized in a manner by which its
former owners believed they could, and present owners believe they can,
maximize their capabilities of earning a living from its operation. Any farm is a culturally organized,
economically functional microregion.
The farmstead contains the most concentrated array of activities of the
entire farm and thereby represents the greatest level of intensity of a
farm’s spatial organization.
It may be composed of separate structures, but not of independent
ones. All farmstead buildings are
interdependent, interacting parts of a working unit, spatially arranged to
maximize their functional effectiveness and that of the farm itself.” (The
Pennsylvania Culture Region A View from the Barn, Joseph W. Glass, p. 171)
The farmhouse and the barn
are the core of the farmstead, and cultural patterns can be established
regarding their relationship to each other and their orientation in the
landscape. On many
farmsteads, the supporting
outbuildings have disappeared because they have ceased to function and
have fallen into disrepair.
“All farms have lanes and some kinds of lawn and fencing, most
have vegetable and flower gardens, and a large number have grape arbors and
fruit trees.” (The
Pennsylvania Culture Region A View from the Barn, Joseph W. Glass, p. 170).
Brightside, while not
possessing the best individual example of each farm building type in the
region, possesses one of the best collections of supporting outbuildings,
spatially arranged to reflect their interdependence. Surviving also are remnants of the flower gardens near the
farmhouse and the fencing that separated the farmyard from the fields and
HIGHLIGHTS OF BRIGHTSIDE FARM
Pyle Farmhouse: Clearly built
as a working farmhouse; the surviving attached wash house and chamber above are
significant (probably dating from c.1840).
Pennsylvania Bank Barn: Good
example of 18th century style bank barn (probably c.1840)
Spring House: Good example of
stone springhouse (probably c.1840).
Wagon Barn: Preserved work
shop at loft level.
PERIODS OF DEVELOPMENT
on physical survey of extant buildings only)
Early 19th Century: Original
Farm House and Wash House
Late -19th Century East Addition to Bank Barn
Early 20th Century Farm House Addition
Crib #16 and #5
addition to Bank Barn
addition to Bank Barn
Mid 20th Century Small Cow Barn
Late 20th Century Dairy Barn
BUILDING CONSERVATION ISSUES
Rehabilitation: Based on the property’s eligibility for National Register
listing, all work should comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard
Preservation of minor
outbuildings: Rarely do minor outbuildings such as multiple chicken coops, pig
pen, and sheds survive farm modernization programs. When Brightside was modernized in the 2nd half of
the 20th century, the new dairy facilities were built adjacent to
(north of) the historic farm complex, without disturbing the minor
outbuildings. In order for future
generations to understand farm life in Charlestown Township, it is important
that all the minor farm outbuildings be preserved.
Painting of farm
outbuildings: While most of the wood frame buildings at Brightside once had
painted red wood siding red and weathered wood shingle roofs; the order is now
reversed: most buildings have painted red roofs and weathered wood siding. While the metal roofing has no doubt
protected the timber framing from water damage, over time the roofs of the old
buildings should be replaced with either wood shingle roofing or substitute
wood shingle roofing. To preserve
the wood siding, the wood should be painted or stained earth red.
fences, gates, and gardens: Surviving remnants of farmyard and garden fences
and gates should be preserved.
Where photographic evidence is clear, fencing of the entire farmyard is
Carpenter bees and
wasps: Many buildings are infested with carpenter bees and wasps. The gap between the replacement metal
roofing and the previous shingle roofing provides an ideal habitat for wasps
and other insects. When the site
is more open to public visitation, wasp infestation is a more serious issue,
because some people are highly allergic to bee/wasp stings. The unpainted, softwood siding and
fascia boards provide an ideal habitat for carpenter bees. A secondary infestation are the
woodpeckers that feed on the carpenter bees, further enlarging the carpenter
ADAPTIVE REUSE POTENTIAL OF BUILDINGS
is rare to find a farm without a dog, and multiple cats are even more
common. As is so widely the case,
remaining functional is the key to the persistence of a cultural
feature.” The Pennsylvania Culture Region, A
View from the Barn, Joseph W. Glass
NO. 1 - PYLE FARMHOUSE
and early 20th Century)
House and addition best suited for continued residential use with the exception
of the wash house addition. A
presence on the site is important for security, and this building is best
suited for residential occupancy.
Because of ADA and exit requirements, this building is not well-suited
to public use.
area on three floors = 8,416 square feet with well defined circulation and (2)
sets of interior stairs. Adequate
for (2-3) 2-bedroom apartments.
The unique 2-story wash house addition (256 square feet) Should be
preserved for public interpretation.
Alternately, the oldest portion of the first floor, combined with the
wash house could be interpreted for the public (Grade level entrance at
original front (south porch) and north door of wash house.).
NO. 2 - BANK BARN
to early 20th Century)
the character of the Bank Barn and additions consider using it for
animals. The lower part of the
bank barn could have a public use, but the threshing floor is not ADA
accessible without an elevator.
Also, because the threshing floor structural framing is so irregular,
extensive reframing will be required for legal human occupancy. It may be possible to get ADA access to
the Creamery addition first floor with a ramp. If Brightside is maintained as a farm, this is an ideal
place to house large farm animals.
NO. 14 - SMALL COW BARN
addition to returning to its previous cow barn function, this 360 square foot
building would be good for public use as it is accessible and one story. Adequate exits would not be difficult
to provide and windows provide light and ventilation on the west side. This could be a classroom, meeting
room, a CSA storage/sorting space, office.
NO. 18 - EQUIPMENT STORAGE BUILDING
building is easily ADA accessible, and egress could be added if a public
function was identified. It could
easily remain an equipment storage building, or be converted to public meeting
spaces. The 2,560 square feet could
be used for Boy/Girl Scout Troop meeting rooms, classrooms, or CSA use. Windows and additional exits would need
to be added.
NO. 20 - MODERN DAIRY BARN
addition to returning to its previous use as a modern dairy barn (or stables),
this building could be adapted for public use. The first floor is accessible and access to the 2nd
level could be through an elevator.
(The exterior ramped entrance to the second floor is too steep for ADA
standards.) The Creamery addition
could become a reception area or management office for the site. The upper level has about 4,480 square
feet of minimum 8 foot high ceiling area available with the possibility of a
loft or mezzanine over 1/3 of the area.
This could be useful office space (possible Township office space) or
public meeting space with the addition of windows. (1997 Architectural Program for Township offices required
3,392 square feet + core spaces (elevators, restrooms, egress stairs).
The lower level has 6,400
square feet available for public use if the milking units are removed. At the east end of the first floor the
pit area could be used for vehicle or other large equipment storage.