A cupola (pronounced “kyou’puh luh”) is an architectural dome that sits atop the roof of a building. This structure ranges in size and shape, from the ones you see on farm buildings in Ohio to ornate, historical buildings in Rome. Cupolas are both functional and ornamental and have been around for centuries. In this article, we’re going to explore the history of them and what you need to know about cupolas on agricultural buildings in Ohio.
The History of Cupolas
Because cupolas are found on both ancient architectural buildings as well as simple barns in the countryside, it’s uncertain as to what the ultimate purpose of them was. However, since we’re discussing farm buildings in Ohio, many farmers long ago believed that tightening their barns by covering the cracks between the sheathing boards would help reduce drafts and the amount of food required by the cattle during the winter. What they found, however, was that with no proper ventilation, along with the breath from the cattle and the rising manure vapors due to the warmth of the barn, became a never-ending cycle when the doors were opened, thus damaging many barns.
To fix this problem, farmers began installing wooden louvered boxes on the roofs near the ridge of the barn over an opening to serve as ventilators. In doing so, they also found that it provided a great deal of natural lighting, kept haystacks dry in the loft, and even brought a sort of aesthetic to the exterior of the barn.
Years ago cupolas on a pole building in Ohio served both functional and ornamental purposes, and they still do today! Cupolas are a great addition to anything from a garage hobby shop in Ohio to farm buildings in Ohio. Ventilation is extremely important to any structure to allow heat and moisture to escape and prevent the growth of mold. Many of our custom post frame builders in Ohio see people adding unique weather vanes to cupolas for a personalized touch.