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Their Barn-Turned House Smiles at Passers By
Drivers passing through Thorp, Wis., often stop to stare at the barn-turned-home built by Bill and Janet Sopiarz that shines with a "Jack 0' Lantern" face by night and by day shows a face with a huge, happy grin.
According to a recent report in The Country Today, a regionally distributed farm newspaper, the rural couple built their living quarters in the barn's hay mow and cut out windows in the south end of the barn to look like a face. During the day, viewers see two windows with blue stained-glass centers that represent the face's eyes, a triangular window that represents the nose, and large patio doors that represent the mouth. White siding covers the south end of the barn except for a margin of brown siding along the roofline that gives the appearance of hair. At night, the white of the face and the "hair" aren't visible, but special lights inside the house give the face a jack o' lantern appearance.
Steps lead to the east side of what was the barn's haymow. The 2,200 sq. ft. of living space is highlighted by a 36 by 25-ft. room that uses the round roof fora ceiling and has an open loft overhanging it. One corner of the room is carpeted and used as a living room area The rest of the room is divided between kitchen and dining areas.
Four bedrooms (one downstairs and three upstairs), two full bathrooms and a utility room make up the other half of the home. Rafters serve as bases for built-in desks in the girls' bedrooms. The entire living area was sketched on a few scraps of paper, with no design blueprints ever drafted. "Working with a 36-ft. wide structure added to some of the ease in planning the layout," says Bill, a siding contractor. "Most homes are 30 ft. wide or less. The extra 6 ft. gives us a lot of extra space."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill and Janet Sopiarz, Rt. 2, Box 263, Thorp, Wis. 54771 (ph 715 669-3045).


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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #4