The Deane Carriage Barn was built around 1890 and was converted from its agricultural past to academic uses by the College. Recently renovated, the Carriage Barn now serves as one of the principal performance spaces on campus. As you approach the building, take a look above the trees and see if you can spot some Chimney Swifts-small gray birds named for their habit of building nests glued onto the sides of buildings (or tree hollows). You can easily recognize them by their rapid, arced flight high in the sky. They have long graceful wings and short, squared-off tails–giving them the nickname of “flying cigars.” Although they are common here, Chimney Swifts are declining in many areas, possibly due to changes in modern chimney design affecting the availability of nesting sites.
Just past the Carriage Barn, you will see some Chinese elm trees to your right. These ornamental trees were widely planted for their durability and their resistance to air pollution and the devastating Dutch elm disease. They are now often considered a pest, as they can escape intended plantings and aggressively compete for water, nutrients, and space among native plant communities.