The barn was built in 1892, probably by the owner of the farm at that time, Fred Phile. The barn is a good example of a bank barn which is usually built into the side of a hill and is accessible at ground level from entrances on the top and bottom of the hill.
This is one of the few family barns left in New Berlin in good condition. The barn is unpainted cedar board (presumed to be original). The boards are 1” thick with spaces between them to allow wind to blow through and dry out. It has an asphalt-shingled roof but the barn has never been painted except for a couple of large painted advertisements on one side facing Greenfield Ave.
The barn has a full basement and the fieldstone walls are two feet thick. The basement has been professionally restored by means of mortar tuck-point in an antique style matching the original.
Originally the barn housed cows, horses and chickens on the lower level. Prior to 1960 the barn was used as an art studio by the sculptor-owner of the property at the time and housed statues. Heinz & Rosemarie Luthi bought the property in1962. The property was originally 40 acres, however it was down to 3 and ½ acres when Luthi”s bought it. The Luthi family primarily used the barn for storage, although Heinz had a carpenter shop in what was once the chicken coop.
The barn is set back on the property and in order to see it permission of the owner to use the driveway is necessary.