The heart of every working farm and ranch, the barn is an icon of rural America. This book chronicles ? and celebrates ? all the main types, and looks at how these treasures of early American architecture developed. It explains how a wealth of immigrant construction methods and range of environments and climates resulted in a fascinating variety of barn styles in the United States, from the earliest rare Dutch examples to simpler English types and others in more surprising shapes (round or even polygonal) crafted by the Shakers in the 1800s. It highlights the most notable, famous and historic barns that the reader can visit, and features the efforts of conservation groups to preserve America's barns and find innovative ways to repurpose these glorious old structures as homes and studios ? and as living monuments of rural heritage.