Authentic but Modern

Outside view of the Macungie barn

The Restoration of a Lehigh Valley PA Barn

As you drive down the lane, past large trees with knotted roots, you know there is history in this place. When through the trees on the top of the hill, you see a restored bank barn, now home to Domaine Pterion Vineyard and Winery, you know there’s a future. A story yet to be told. 

The next chapter in this 283-year-old farm’s story is being written by Daniel and Elizabeth O’Rourke, who purchased the farm in 2014. But what you see today is far different from what they saw almost 10 years ago. 

First deeded in 1740 by William Penn, the 60-acre farm has a stone farmhouse and bank barn built circa 1780. 

Daniel and Elizabeth had been searching for a farm for many years, dreaming of a historic place to farm and entertain. When they acquired the farm, they quickly got to work planting the vineyard and reimagining purposes for the different buildings.

“We consider ourselves the present caretakers.” says Daniel “This place is owned by history. We wanted to preserve and honor the 300-year history while we made it enjoyable for this time and place. And for the future.”

Authentic yet Modern

In 2018 the O’Rourkes were ready to restore the barn into a tasting room for their winery and event center. As they began talking to contractors, they were adamant about holding in tension their desire for the authenticity of the historic structure while adding modern amenities. 

They chose to work with Stable Hollow Construction because of their expertise in this type of adaptive reuse, combining the new while honoring the old in technique and presentation. “We wanted to preserve as much of the original construction of the barn while adding HVAC and modern amenities,” Dan explains. “In the end, we had several contractors with great reputations that we considered. But when we talked to the people and expressed this vision, we fell in love with Stable Hollow. They were flexible. They said, ‘We want this to be a dream of yours that comes true.’ And it has.”

The original corn crib, sealed for storage use, meets the original stone barn and new upper terrace patio.

The lower courtyard terraces glow in the evening light. The cross design was created by Leroy of Stable Hollow

Lower-level tasting room

Beams from the original 1740s log cabin were repurposed in the construction of the barn. 

Main floor event space with a bank of modern windows showcasing views over the property. 

To accommodate plumbing, electrical, and HVAC requirements to service the old barn, an addition was built connecting the original bank barn and the original saddlery-turned-chicken coop. “We brought to use the real talent of the Stable Hollow masons, you can not tell the difference between the original historic portions and the newly constructed areas if I don’t point it out to you,” Daniel explained. Stones from the farm property were hand-selected by Stable Hollow’s stone mason crew and used in the addition as well as in the upper and lower terraces. This maintains an authentic connection to the land and the historic structures. 

On the lower level, an arched walkway was added through the 35-foot exterior wall of the original to connect the tasting room with a modern kitchen. “I love the arch walkway! It allows for the modern connection between the two spaces but it looks like it has been there for 300 years,” says Daniel.


Up the floating metal staircase with reclaimed barn wood treads, past the generous restroom facilities, you’ll find a full commercial kitchen to support weddings and other events hosted at Domaine Pterion.

Off the courtyard terrace, you’ll find what is now the bridal suite, complete with air conditioning and a full bathroom. In developing the property, it was important for the O’Rourkes to consider the different objects for the space. Having a suite set aside for brides specifically on their special day was key. Daniel explains, “The bridal suite is a stunning example of new meeting the old. It’s a beautiful environment and while much of the interior is new, it was all built using the same old-world craftsmanship and construction techniques. 

Creating a Domaine for the Future

The desire for authenticity from the O’Rourkes shows in their wine as well. Their winery follows the French tradition of being a Domaine. That means all their wines are made with grapes grown on the 22,000 grape vines now found on the 15.7-acre vineyard. They are harvested and fermented in a state-of-the-art winery on the property and sold only on-premises. The Domaine Pterion wines continue to be well-received and are already winning awards for this young winery.   

Daniel and Elizabeth are living in the moment; enjoying what they have created together as Domaine Pterion’s “present caretakers”. As they look to the future, it’s looking bright. Daniel put it best: “Perhaps in the future, this property will have another yet unimagined purpose. But I know it will be ready to be used.”