Harlow Barn is a one-story New England barn set on a high ornamental concrete block foundation which has a rectangular footprint. The building is one bay wide and three days deep, with shiplap wood siding, plain corner boards, and simple door and window trim. The roof is covered with asphalt shingles and has exposed rafter tails. The barn entry is in its north, front gable, elevation where the opening has a double-leaf door that is covered with plywood panels. The south elevation’s basement is completely above grade and contains two garage-size door openings, one of which contains a rolling garage door that has been covered with plywood panels but appears operational, while the other opening has been sealed with fixed plywood panels. The basement windows in the building’s east and west elevations have been sealed with modern concrete blocks, while the window openings in the east and west elevation’s shiplap section have been sealed with plywood panels.
On the west elevation these plywood panels are on the inner side of the window frames, which shows that no window sash survives on this side of the building. Portions of the shiplap siding are missing from the upper portion of the south elevation, in the area above the west garage door, and the edges around this open area are charred from fire damage. With the exception of this section of fire-damaged wall on the west elevation, the building’s roof and exterior walls appear to be relatively intact. Inspection of the building’s interior is not part of the site work conducted for the preparation of this Form B, therefore the extent of any fire damage to the interior is unknown to VHB. The electrical service meter box located at the east side of the barn door is missing its meter, indicating that this sealed building has no current use that requires electrical lighting or other electrical service.
Harlow Barn is located along the west side of North Pleasant Street off of an unpaved access drive that runs west from North Pleasant Street. The landscape surrounding the barn consists of un-mown lawn, deciduous forest, and scrub growth. Open fields are located to the north and west of the building. A few mature evergreen trees are located to the east of the building.
According to University of Massachusetts Amherst Facilities Department records, Harlow Barn was constructed in 1910. Although no independent records have been discovered to corroborate this construction date, the January 1911 48th Annual Report of the Massachusetts Agricultural College states that the College had purchased the 30-acre Harlow farm property for $3,284.00. The Annual Report does not indicate whether any buildings were part of the property when it was purchased by the College. The 1919 Harrison campus map shows a house and barn in the general area where Harlow Barn currently stands, but the footprint of the L-plan barn on the 1919 map does not match the rectangular footprint of the existing barn. In addition, the ornamental concrete block foundation of the existing rectangular-plan barn does not show evidence that it was ever part of an L-plan foundation. The use of ornamental concrete block, however, does date to the early 20th century. No historic photographs of Harlow Barn have been found in the online Digital Images Catalogue that is maintained by Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Harlow Barn (1910) is located outside of the core of the campus and is not shown on historic campus maps or plans. No historic photographs of the building have been located.