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Shaker Museum/Mount Lebanon awarded $500,000 for historic preservation
A rendering of the interior of the Great Stone Barn at the project's completion. Photo: Peter Watson.

NEW LEBANON, NY.- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in Albany awards through the state's Regional Economic Development Councils, which include a $500,000 historic preservation grant to the Shaker Museum│Mount Lebanon. The grant has been awarded through the state's Environmental Protection Fund, administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and will be used towards funding Phase 2 restorations on Mount Lebanon's Great Stone Barn, a project estimated to cost $750,000. Last month, the Museum completed the Phase 1 restorations--a $2 million project that stabilized the structure. Phase 2 will add capping and flashing to the newly stabilized walls and will restore the main floor surface of the building, creating a monumental 8,750 square foot open-air space for public access, interpretation, programs, and events.

The award was based on a competitive application that takes into account the economic impact and historic significance of the project. The restoration of the Great Stone Barn is a centerpiece of the Museum's plan to create a cultural gateway at Mount Lebanon linking the Berkshires and the Capital Region. Work on the Phase 2 restorations is expected to begin in Spring 2015.

The Great Stone Barn at Mount Lebanon was built by the North Family Shakers in 1860 and was an early, exceptionally large example of adapting the latest factory and mill technologies for agriculture. The building was gutted by fire in 1972, leaving only the stone walls. In 2004, the Museum acquired the site, which was recognized that year by the World Monuments Fund as one of the world's most significant endangered historic sites.

"We are delighted that the State of New York continues its support for Mount Lebanon as a cultural asset," said Museum President, David Stocks. "This grant will help fund an important step in making Mount Lebanon a major museum destination, and will further the restoration and interpretation of America's most important Shaker historic site."

The Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, located in New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, is dedicated to engaging and inspiring local, national, and global audiences by telling the story of the American Shakers. The Museum's collections span over 60,000 objects and it stewards the North Family historic site at Mount Lebanon, a National Historic Landmark. The Museum is open seasonally from June to October, and offers programs year-round.

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