Colonel Snelling lamented that he wanted to build all the fort's structures of stone, as it was better and cheaper, but he had more carpenters than masons in the ranks. The Wood Barracks, built prior to 1822 and intended to house three companies of soldiers, was one of the results. The original structure was of post and sill type construction, using hand-hewn logs, and was then covered in clapboards. Within 20 years, the building was in such poor condition that it was replaced in stone. The Officers' Quarters, the barracks' near-mirror image across the parade ground, was likewise replaced in stone in the mid-1840s.
In reconstructing the Wood Barracks, the Minnesota Historical Society decided to return the building to its earliest external appearance. The porches added by 1839 are not now present, and the exterior is white clapboard. Inside, room treatments mirror the changes of 70 years: single or double squad rooms; fireplaces or stoves; plaster, paneling or rough hewn logs.
The Wood Barracks houses an extensive exhibit on enlisted men's life in the regular Army during the 19th century.