Fixer Upper: NL Kotting Co. turns old barns into homes

Northport Barn

The photo of the barn above (located north of Northport) was taken by Michael Hicks this summer I believe. Better daysThe photo to the right was taken maybe 10 years ago – it’s amazing how fast these old barns can crumble into ruin.

It doesn’t have to go like this. Check out this article from Lake Magazine titled From Hayloft to Home about Leelanau resident and historical preservation expert Nancy Kotting and the process of turning a barn into a house. Nancy explains the feeling of living in a barn that’s been converted:

It’s been a joy for me – the loft, the feeling of virgin timber, the sense of strength and permanency that you walk into. I feel like I’m walking into a European cathedral. It’s got a verticality that gives you a sense of walking into a sacred space. And a sense of security: This is a building that was here long before I arrived and a building that will be here long after I leave. I never had that feeling in a home. built their web site – check it out at!

3 replies
  1. jonking
    jonking says:

    Several months ago I briefly watched some award ceremony where Robert Duvall won a award for a western movie. In his expectance speech he said something that stuck with me. He commentated on how the “Cowboy” is one thing that is truly American.

    Last weekend I was pheasant hunting in Iowa. This consisted of several days fill with walking through incredible farm land. Some of which was peppered with crumbling vintage barns, out buildings, trucks and windmills. Somehow this translated into a commentary about the vanishing American family farm, which saddened me greatly. I kept thinking about Duvall and his quote. Seeing this made me proud to have American heritage and it made me wish there was something I could do. Perhaps organizations like NL Kotting can help. Thanks for the post… what a great image.

  2. Jacqulyn Richey
    Jacqulyn Richey says:

    Speaking of Duvall, in that interview they showed his barn that had been converted into a game room/entertainment area. Its nice to see some of our history being preserved for future generations.

  3. Ben Copeland
    Ben Copeland says:

    It is great that you are so keen on these old barns. They are magnificent, skillfully built structures. Unfortunately we don’t have many barns in Australia – but what we do have is a large number of disused sheds that could well do with being converted to homes.

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