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MOUNT LEBANON SHAKER VILLAGE

MOUNT LEBANON SHAKER VILLAGE
New Lebanon, New York, United States
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BACKGROUND

At its height in 1860, the Shaker village of Mount Lebanon, New York, spanned some 6,000 acres and contained more than 100 buildings. The Shakers are a Christian sect that originated in England but settled in New England to escape persecution. Their celibate communities were self-sufficient and developed new approaches to the design and manufacture of goods based on function and simplicity of design, an aesthetic that survives today.

By the turn of the 20th century the Shaker community had decreased in size and families consolidated as Shaker villages closed. The North Family was the last remaining at Mount Lebanon when it closed in 1947.

In 1972 a devastating fire broke out in the North Family’s Great Stone Barn, which was the largest stone barn in America when it was built in 1859. Only its masonry walls were left standing. The following year, the Dwelling House, a massive 50-room, five-story abandoned building, was razed for fear that fire or other calamity would come to the site.

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HOW WE HELPED

World Monuments Fund recognized the importance of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village in New York by placing it on the 2004 and 2006 Watch lists. Since then, we have hosted preservation field schools at the site and are actively engaged in helping the Shaker Museum and Library make Mount Lebanon accessible to the public and the centerpiece of their interpretive programs and exhibitions.

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WHY IT MATTERS

Mount Lebanon was once the center of the Shaker world in the United States; at its peak in 1860, 600 people occupied 125 buildings on 6,000 acres. After the last Shakers left in 1947, much of the property was sold, and the village dwindled to fewer than 40 buildings on only 72 acres.

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Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
Wallpaper: Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
Wallpaper: Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
Wallpaper: Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
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IN THE MEDIA
A lift for nation's oldest stone barn
Times Union, Sunday, September 1, 2013
VIDEOS
World Monuments FundWindow Sash Restoration Workshop: Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
January, 2011

In summer 2010, World Monuments Fund provided scholarships for three New York City students to attend the Window Sash Restoration Workshop at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village. WMF sponsored the program in partnership with Shaker Museum and Library, North Bennet Street School, Darrow School, Hancock Shaker Village, Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, and Abyssinian Development Corporation. The students lived and worked on site for the two-week workshop learning traditional repair techniques and the significance of the Shaker sites. This video documents their experience.