Malvern Patch Asks: What's The Story Behind the Barn?

The red barn—emblazoned with the question "This is women's lib?"—is hard to miss on West King Road.

Who can fill in the background about this unique landmark in East Whiteland?

The red barn with "This is what women's lib?" written in white is located on West King Road, between Malvern Borough and Immaculata University.

carol ray January 08, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I have no idea but can't believe it hasn't faded after all these years....the Facebook page "you know you're from Malvern if.." has a mention in one of the posts from either the person that lived there or did it so SOMEONE can explain lol
Kristin Thomas January 08, 2012 at 02:06 PM
great question. I'd love to know the answer. I'd also love to know what's up with the East Kind Street redevelopment project as we have not heard about it in a long time. When is demolition scheduled and building slated to begin? There was also buzz about the Worthington project legal issues ending and moving forward with building. True?
Jackie January 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I wonder this every time I drive by.
Ed Davidson January 08, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I'm an eyewitness and can fill in the gaps! I saw a woman painting the barn in the late 60's/early 70's ...I was a regular in the area because I delivered Suburban Advertiser newspapers. She slowly painted the lower half of the barn as far as she could reach while standing on the ground (you can see this if you look closely)--and then she got a ladder and started to paint the top. She stopped and wrote "This is women's lib." I thought she'd paint over it later but she never did.
carol ray January 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I'd say that was some pretty good paint she used!
Jeff Broadbelt January 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The Keegan family lived there at the time and maybe still do. Ed's recollection is an accurate account of the story. Mrs ( or Ms) Keegan didn't intend on leaving it there forever but never got around to finishing the job. Great story!!!
Pete January 08, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I've always wondered this as well. Good to hear who did it, but was it a complaint about her having to paint the barn (as a woman) or a more general political statement?
MacTavish14 January 08, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I believe the delays for the East King Street demolition are the same as Uptown Worthington: no money. I have heard no conjecture on dates to begin/continue on either project.
Jeff Broadbelt January 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I think it fell under the complaint category but all in good spirit.
Julie Keegan Ross January 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
It is a great story...Someone should stop over and ask my folks sometime. They tell it best!! . Jeff you are correct it was rather tongue in cheek...remember I have four brothers!! The Barn made the national news back in the 70’s when The Mighty Macs won the championship and we hung a sign up congratulating them. It seems it is still quite the landmark to many that passed through my parent’s house over the years.
Pete Kennedy (Editor) January 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Thanks for all the information, everyone! What a cool story, and a great comment thread. I had no idea it had been up for so long, and I really didn't suspect it was tongue-in-cheek. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with an interest—in fact, a Facebook reader said it has driven her nuts for 25 years. Julie, I hope to have the chance to stop over some time and get the full story. Truth is, it's been on my to-do list for a long time (that photo is from the summer), and one of my 2012 resolutions has been to not let stories wither on the vine. I'm very happy with the way this post worked out—thanks again to everyone who contributed!
Julie Keegan Ross January 09, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Pete, My parents are amused by the interest the Barn. Where is it posted on Facebook? Do stop sometime and chat it up with the folks. They are just as much an institution in Malvern as the barn is. Great people, you will enjoy them I am sure!! And Bobby Dutter...Thanks!!!
Pete Kennedy (Editor) January 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I hope to meet them soon! Regarding Bobby Dutter: Are you thanking him or saying he's another Malvern institution I should meet? Here's the FB link I referred to: http://www.facebook.com/MalvernPatch/posts/337504289602570 (Feel free to "like" Malvern Patch, if you are so inclined!)
Julie Keegan Ross January 10, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Bob is a Malvernite well worth meeting!! He is the one who sent me the link to the Patch about the Barn. Do hold true to your 2012 resolution!! You will meet some amazing people that way!! Take care.
Pete Kennedy (Editor) January 10, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I'll look into this. Money is probably at least part of the cause for delay. Also, since the "fall 2011" groundbreaking prediction, Eli Kahn, the developer behind the East King St project, was awarded the bid for the West Chester courthouses (http://patch.com/A-mdGN); perhaps that has had an effect on the Malvern project.


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