Winter is coming, and the Arnold Barn is ready for snow |

Winter is coming, and the Arnold Barn is ready for snow

Crews with Fox Construction work to stabilize the iconic Arnold Barn in Steamboat Springs in 2017.
Courtesy/Sarah Fox

Historic preservationists in Ski Town USA no longer have to fear a good snowstorm.

The iconic Arnold Barn, which has been in danger of collapsing under heavy snow in recent years, was successfully stabilized this month by Fox Construction.

Passersby won’t notice anything has been done to the barn aside from a yellow fence erected around the structure to keep the public out.

But inside, new cross beams and a wooden support frame have been carefully installed to help the barn withstand heavy snowfall this winter.

The roof of the nearly 90-year-old structure has been secured to the building’s frame so that it’s no longer in danger of slipping away.

“The entire team thought it was pretty cool to go in and help fix up this building so it wouldn’t collapse,” Sarah Fox, of Fox Construction, said Wednesday.

The work was completed in less than two weeks.

Fox said workers had to approach the job carefully because of the barn’s fragile condition.

They first had to stabilize the floor that made up the hayloft so they could safely start working on the roof.

The Arnold Barn isn’t the first historic structure Fox Construction has been entrusted to stabilize and preserve.

Fox said the company’s other restoration projects include the famous More Barn as well as Centennial Hall and the Wild Horse Gallery in downtown Steamboat.

Built in 1928, the Arnold Barn served as the centerpiece of the Arnold family’s dairy farm.

Its future was in limbo as recently as November, when the Steamboat Springs City Council decided to take legal action against the former property owner and a developer the city claimed were neglecting the structure.

A deal was worked out over the course of several months and Steamboat Ski Area recently became the barn’s new caretaker.

Part of the agreement was to have the barn’s former owner and the developer pitch in for its stabilization.

The city then dropped the lawsuit, and the barn and the land below it were gifted to the ski resort.

There are plans to eventually move the structure to a more accessible location up the hill in front of The Steamboat Grand.

Under this scenario, the barn would be restored to what it looked like in its glory days and the structure would serve as an iconic entrance feature into the resort area.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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