Press Release: GCTF is Building a 70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon at Sonny’s Place

Press is welcome to attend the raising, scheduled to begin at 8 am Tuesday March 7 and finish on Wednesday March 8. On these days, we will be raising the 13,000 pound compression ring and cupola to its final height of 35' and suspending it in the center of the structure with heavy timber roof rafters.

Media Contact: Erik Koehler (860) 454-9103

History in the Making

Great Country Timber Frames is building one of the largest clear span timber frame structures in New England: a 70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon at Sonny’s Place in Somers, CT.

Designed and engineered by Great Country Timber Frames using traditional wood joinery along with concealed steel reinforcement where required, the largest timbers are 10" x 20" x 26'. Just the cupola “compression ring,” where all the roof rafters will connect high above the center of the structure, is over 24' in diameter. In total, the timber frame will contain 35,000 board feet of select structural Douglas Fir timber. The timber frame octagon is 4,200 sq. ft. with 18' eave height.

“This is a very exciting project for all of us here at Great Country Timber Frames. It’s history in the making as we honor the craft of timber framing and incorporate modern structural engineering & design to create a one-of-a-kind, large scale commercial structure—one of the largest clear span timber frame structures in New England, actually. This could have been built using conventional construction and steel but to build it with timber framing for a truly unique look was only a job for the experts at Great Country Timber Frames,” said Erik Koehler, Marketing Engineer for Great Country Timber Frames.

Koehler also commented that for a project like this, a modern design where heavy timbers will span 70 feet, there is zero tolerance for errors in the timber frame joinery. Thus, the CNC machine at Great Country Timber Frames was a must in getting the timbers cut perfectly ahead of time so they form snug connections when the frame is assembled on site.

Sonny’s Place will be using the octagon to house a 50' antique carousel.

Great Country Timber Frames is also handling the construction of a 11,550 sq. ft. addition to the existing 7,000 sq. ft. arcade building built by their sister company, The Barn Yard, in 2012.

Follow the project online at

Photo caption: Great Country Timber Frames building the 13,000 pound compression ring and cupola on the floor inside the octagon prior to the cupola being raised to a height of 35' in its final position.

Posted to Blog: Friday, March 03, 2017