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Sila Lydia Bast Bell Barn


Sila Lydia Bast Bell Barn
Dheinsville Historic District
Germantown, Wisconsin


Project Description: This historic village district needed a place to store and exhibit the extensive bell collection amassed by Sila Lydia Bast over her lifetime, with the stipulation that the collection could not be broken up. Not having the space immediately available, they asked Miller Architectural Group for aid in analyzing the possibility of converting and existing decrepit barn on their property to the task.

The barn posed several daunting obstacles. It was severely deteriorated, with holes in some of the floors. The walls were far from weathertight, and the building itself, as a light framed structure, needed to be braced and strengthened.

Miller Architectural Group came up with a plan that would convert the barn into serviceable museum space. New services were installed throughout, as well as refurbishing the existing structure, roofs, walls, and siding. New insulation was inserted between the existing studs, preserving the framed appearance of the interior while improving thermal performance.

And finally, the existing concrete silo (without cap) was converted to the building’s entry, complete with new bell cupola, which is visible through a skylight directly below. A unique and appropriate introduction to the museum within.

Exterior Photographs
Exterior Views


Bell Tower
Bell Tower


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