Jura limestone blocks form a kneehigh foundation around the work hall. Massive oaken corner and middle posts of the timber frame building rest on the foundation.
Jura limestone blocks form a kneehigh foundation around the work hall. Massive oaken corner and middle posts of the timber frame building rest on the foundation. Vertical pine palings turned at 45 degree angles are spaced apart between the posts. The barn is thus provided with plenty of light and air. A grating in the gable carries the theme through. The wide-eaved roof is also practical, providing shelter for workmen and material.
The numbers 1 and 7 are on the front left corner post, on the right post two more 1’s – the building date of 1711. Next to the first number there is a clover leaf and a glass. At the completion of buildings, the owners usually paid a round of wine for the workmen, a “ridge party”. If the workmen were satisfied, they carved a glass on the building with lines representing flowing wine. When the city of Aarau had the building erected in 1711, the municipal wine cellar was empty. The workmen got instead a cash payment: they therefore carved a moneybag with symbolic coins in the glass.
The public works yard comprised this airy barn, a multipurpose work hall and open storage space. Among other things, timber was stored here for repairs to the bridge carrying the highway over the Aare river from Basle to Aarau and onward to Zurich.
Although it was the last historic municipal works yard in Switzerland, the authorities struck it from the inventory of preserved objects. The yard was destroyed in 2002, the multipurpose work hall burned down and the town barn came to Ballenberg.
Once it was wooden planks that were densely packed together here, now it’s the inhabitants.