Long-Range Planning: Project Progress Report

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Public Programming and Marketing

Two months ago we introduced you to a project list proposed by the Shaker Village Long-Range Planning Committee as part of the Village’s next ten-year plan. While many of these projects still require years of additional planning, fundraising and prep work, our team has been able to begin on several this summer.

I hope you enjoy this brief photo tour of our progress!

Shaker Landing

Learn about the full plan for Shaker Landing.

Thanks to a generous private donation, work has begun on the 1866 Timber Frame Stable at Shaker Landing. In addition to preserving this important building, our team is outfitting the space so it may be used as a venue for dinners, receptions, educational programs and other events. Electrical upgrades, installation of fans and lights, and the conversion of a side room into a service kitchen have already begun.

We hope to begin using this venue for Shaker Village programs before the end of this fall, and it will be available for rental to groups beginning in the spring.

The boat launch at Shaker Landing has also received an upgrade this summer, with a new kayak/canoe slip added at the dock. Paddlers now have the option to launch from the concrete ramp, or to avoid muddy conditions and tow their boat out to the slip, with tethers provided along the walkway.

Learn more about launching your canoe or kayak from Shaker Landing.

Children’s Playscape

Learn about the Children’s Playscape.

Construction of the Children’s Playscape is in full swing (excuse the pun)!

Natural materials are arriving to create mounds, sand pits and climbing elements. Ground preparations, including grading and drainage, have begun, and several experiences within the playscape have already been arranged.

There is still much to do, and we are hoping for a “formal” opening of this area, located just behind our vegetable gardens, in late September. Thank you to the private donors that stepped up to make this experience possible!

The Believers

Learn about The Believers.

The floors of the 1820 Meeting House have been repaired and refinished, and new exhibit lighting has been installed throughout the second floor of the building. Full installation of the latest, permanent exhibition at Shaker Village will begin just after Labor Day. The exhibit will be open to the public before the end of September.

Watch your email for an invitation to the grand opening!

Workshop Room in the East Family Sisters’ Shop

A first floor room of the 1855 East Family Sisters’ Shop, previously used for storage, has now been converted to host workshops and craft classes. In this photo, the space is set for an upcoming chair taping workshop.

If you would like to attend a workshop in our new space, the next program (that has not already sold out) is Herbs for Home and Health on Saturday, October 7.

Check out the Shaker Village Event Calendar for more great workshops and programs!

Roads and Infrastructure

Shaker Village’s team of carpenters, painters, maintenance technicians and groundskeepers are constantly caring for the Village’s 3,000 acre property and buildings.

In addition to massive HVAC systems, electrical stations and a wastewater treatment plant, there are miles of buried utilities, stone and plank fences, gravel roads and paved surfaces. These structures and systems are typically not the focal point of a guest’s visit to Shaker Village – unless they are broken or out of service. Then they can ruin an otherwise peaceful and inspirational experience.

While plans are underway to upgrade “behind the scenes” infrastructure Village-wide, one area has received some immediate attention this summer. Travelers venturing out to the West Lot will no longer have to traverse the “minefield” of potholes and broken asphalt along the West Lot Road. New pavement and repairs were completed on the most heavily damaged segments of the 1.5 mile long road in July.

Enjoy your smooth ride, there’s more to come!

Follow Our Progress

Expect to hear more about the progress of our Long-Range Plan projects on social media, through emails and on the Shaker Village blog. We hope you follow along!

If you have questions about master site planning at Shaker Village, or if you would like to support our efforts, please reach out to our Vice President of Public Programming & Marketing, Billy Rankin at brankin@shakervillageky.org or 859.734.1574.

This is the eleventh article in an ongoing series outlining long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. New to the series? You can visit our previous articles here:

True North

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Public Programming and Marketing

This is the eighth article in an ongoing series outlining long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. New to the series? You can visit our previous articles here:

A Note of Concern

For those who have been following this series of articles about long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, I hope you will forgive me if I draw a conclusion about you. It appears, at least on the surface, that this remarkable place matters to you, and you are interested in its future.

Perhaps you have fond memories of visits to the Village. Maybe you have spent time here with family and friends. You might have been an employee or a volunteer. There’s a chance you have photographs with the landscape and architecture of Pleasant Hill in the background, and the smiling faces of people you love in the foreground.

If any of the above happens to be true, then it is also likely that you have, at some point or another, been concerned for the future of Shaker Village. After all, caring for 34 historic structures and 3,000 acres of natural and cultural landscape presents unique challenges. During your visits you have seen roofs that needed repair, windows that were leaking and plaster that was sagging.

In the last ten years, you have also seen much change at the Village, and a renewed investment in preservation. While we have made many strides and completed dozens of preservation projects, there is one building in particular that stands out as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done: the 1816 North Lot Dwelling.

New Life for the North Lot Dwelling

For the last 15 years, the North Lot Dwelling has been closed to the public. During the late 2000s, as the economy went into depression and the Village’s annual attendance was dropping, several buildings outside of the primary “historic centre” were shuttered due to a lack of resources to keep them open. Now, this once popular guest house with a fascinating history sits in silence, awaiting the next generation of preservationists who will bring it back to life.

For motorists who travel Highway 68 to and from Harrodsburg, the North Lot Dwelling currently appears as an abandoned home, set apart from the beauty of Shaker Village by two lanes of asphalt and a tattered covering of Tyvek. This won’t be the case for much longer. Soon, preservation work will begin to replace the building’s roof and front façade. After additional fundraising is completed, the North Lot Dwelling will return to its historic identity as both a welcoming face of the Village, and as a center for hospitality.

Recent History

After the dissolution of the North Lot Family by the Shakers in 1880, the buildings and adjacent property of the North Lot were soon sold to a private landowner. The following decades saw the North Lot used as a residence and for storage. In 1966 the North Lot Dwelling, now the last remaining extant building of the North Lot, and surrounding land was purchased by the nonprofit that manages Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. After restoration efforts that began in the late 1970s were completed in 1981, the North Lot Dwelling began to host overnight guests and small retreats in 1982. The three story building included a full kitchen, five bedrooms and a large sitting area that could be converted to meeting space.

A 1982 report to the Shaker Village Board of Trustees’ stated, “The North Lot rooms are all open. Brown-Forman brought a group here this week and stayed overnight for two nights. They were delighted with it. The large first floor sitting area worked well for a meeting space.

Not only was the building a favorite for small meeting groups, due to its flexible space, full amenities and private setting, but families also found it appealing for getaways and retreats. Although the Village has a variety of family-friendly suites and cottages, no other overnight space could accommodate over a dozen guests in a “single” space.

The exterior of the North Lot Dwelling began to degrade after its public closure in the late 2000s. Some efforts were made on superficial repairs in the 2010s, but upon discovering the depth of preservation work required, especially where water had infiltrated around windows and doors, that work was stopped and a Tyvek cover was placed over the vulnerable west façade. The building has remained in this state, slowly degrading while being accessed rarely.

Brighter Future

Shaker Village’s Long-Range Planning Committee toured the North Lot Dwelling extensively before making recommendations for the future of this historic building. The first priority is, of course, preservation. As mentioned above, work to replace the roof and repair the front façade should begin later this year, thanks to the generous donations of several caring individuals. As additional funding becomes available, our teams will complete the preservation of the building’s exterior, safeguarding the structure from continued water damage.

Once exterior work is completed, attention will turn to the interior of the building. Plaster walls and ceilings, wood trim, wood floors, stairwells, steps and fixtures will all be cleaned, repaired and, where needed, replaced. New appliances and installations will modernize the kitchen and bathrooms. The building will be refurnished and decorated with an eye to Shaker design and modern comfort.

Flexible Space

Once work on the North Lot Dwelling is completed, and the building is reopened, it will provide a resource like no other at Shaker Village. A gathering for a large family or a scout group could sleep up to 24 guests in the building. A retreat of a dozen adults will have ample indoor space. Outdoor parties, luncheons and reunions will gather on the picturesque grounds, using the North Lot Dwelling as a base of operations and catering kitchen.

Bunk-style beds, with a queen mattress on the bottom and a twin above, will provide flexibility for different types of guests, while maximizing occupancy for the building. Fold out sofas and the installation of laundry facilities will provide additional flexibility for extra guests or longer stays.

As the North Lot Dwelling “comes back to life,” we will keep you updated with stories and photos. We hope you’ll stop by to welcome back this familiar friend that has needed our aid for so long.

Follow Our Progress

As projects develop, you can expect to hear more about the progress on social media, through emails and on the Shaker Village blog. We hope you follow along!

If you have questions about master site planning at Shaker Village, or if you would like to support our efforts, please reach out to our Vice President of Public Programming & Marketing, Billy Rankin at brankin@shakervillageky.org or 859.734.1574.

The Natural Element

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Public Programming and Marketing

This is the seventh article in an ongoing series outlining long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. New to the series? You can visit our previous articles here:

3,000 Acres of Discovery

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is an expansive property with an interesting balance of land use. By the numbers, the 3,000 acres that make up Shaker Village’s property are divided approximately in this way:

  • 200 acres are “developed,” with buildings, roads and parking areas.
  • 800 acres are agricultural, with most of this being leased land for modern farming, and a little over 1/8 of this acreage used for the Village’s educational farm.
  • 2,000 acres comprise the Preserve at Shaker Village. Of this, 1,000 acres are managed as a prairie, with a habitat of summer grasses and wild flowers. The remaining 1,000 acres are woods, wetlands and waterways.

The Preserve comprises 2/3 of Shaker Village’s land. Each year, between 10-20,000 guests visit the Village specifically for the Preserve. These guests come to hike, bike and ride horses. They come for nature-based programming, and family photos. They come for 5k’s and stargazing. And more are coming every year.

Recent History

Although the Preserve and its 33 miles of multi-use trails are a major part of the Shaker Village experience today, it is a relatively new addition to the organization’s offerings. Until 2008, most of the land that is now managed as a prairie had been operating as a cattle farm. Unfortunately, the cattle operation was not financially sustainable and, as with many business operations during the economic downturn of ’08, change was necessary. The Shaker Village Board of Trustees’ voted to forego management of the cattle operation, scaling down to focus on the educational component instead.

So, what was to become of the cattle pastures that remained?

While the Board realized they needed to move out of the cattle business, there was not yet a consensus on what to move toward. The idea of converting over 1,000 acres to prairie was one born of being in the right place at the right time.

Don Pelly had worn many hats at Shaker Village during his years associated with the nonprofit. While working as a science teacher he found time to participate in the Pleasant Hill Singers, assist with photography at the Village and lead some public programs here and there. When he retired from teaching, he took on a full-time role at the Village. In 2008 he was the Village’s Property Manager, and attending the retirement party for a colleague.

It was at this party that the seeds for the Preserve were sown, if you’ll excuse the pun, as Don first learned in casual conversation that government grants were available for converting pastures to native prairie. After some research into the opportunity, Don presented this option to Shaker Village’s leadership team, and work on creating the Preserve we know today was begun.

Although the Village had previously provided some hiking and riding trails, the initiative to diversify the natural environment on the property also led to the establishment of an expanded trail system. These new resources led to additional environmental studies and educational opportunities. Each success and challenge led to the next opportunity. Soon, Don was appointed as the Village’s first Preserve Manager, a title he passed on in 2015 to Ben Leffew, who had worked alongside Don for years and still oversees operations in the Preserve today.

Jumping Off Points

To access Shaker Village’s trail system, guests begin at one of three different trailheads: East, Center or West. Over 90% of guests use the Center or West trailheads, as they provide access to the greatest variety of trails for hikers, and an equestrian center for horseback riders. As use of the trail system has increased, the need for additional infrastructure to support the guest experience, while also protecting delicate ecosystems, has become more apparent.

Without adequate parking, guests are more likely to park in the grass, along the prairie or near erosion-prone locations near waterways. Without convenient restrooms, guests are more likely to “make their own” wherever nature calls. A higher number of guests is a very good thing, but without the proper amenities, the quality of the experience can decline for everyone.

With these challenges and opportunities in mind, Shaker Village’s Long-Range Planning Committee began a plan to design and construct a new nature center along the road to the Center and West trailheads.

A Prairie Home

A nature center will provide a first-class introduction to the natural and cultural environment surrounding Shaker Village. Along with educational exhibits and indoor gathering space that can be used for a variety of events, the nature center will also provide staff offices, a lab and supply storage. Restroom facilities and public parking will alleviate immediate needs in this area of the property, and the Village’s capacity for hikers, field trips, group tours, summer campers and other guests will expand greatly.

A new nature center at Shaker Village may be located near this location, along the West Lot Road, just prior to the Center Trailhead.

The addition of a nature center will relieve pressures from historic buildings like the 1815 Carpenter’s Shop (Welcome Center) and the 1820 Meeting House (the largest indoor area for banquets currently).

While the design of the new nature center is not yet determined, the Committee has recommended a site that is not in the viewshed of the Historic Centre of the Village, or any other historic buildings. This will allow some flexibility in design, perhaps taking more inspiration from the natural environment than from historic architecture.

Functional goals for the building have been discussed at length, however. After a series of visits to nature centers across the Commonwealth, and an assessment of needs at Shaker Village, the Committee has recommended the following functional goals:

  • A welcoming space to provide visitor orientation to the Preserve
  • ADA compliant throughout the building, and with accessible parking
  • Indoor and outdoor gathering spaces for group programs
  • Ability to seat a minimum of 150 guests for an indoor banquet or reception
  • Flexibility to divide gathering spaces to accommodate multiple and smaller groups
  • Exhibition and gallery space to support interpretation of natural and cultural landscape (could surround reception area)
  • Restrooms with both indoor and outdoor access and ability to subdivide as needed
  • A service kitchen to support hosting catered events
  • Retail opportunities for basic hiking supplies, snacks and souvenirs
  • Staff dedicated spaces, including: offices, breakroom, laboratory, meeting space, restrooms, mud room
  • Adequate storage for event supplies, programming supplies, field supplies, retail inventory and office supplies
  • Parking for guests, staff, coach and school buses
  • Equestrian tie points and loading steps

While the nature center at Shaker Village will be under development in the coming years, you can expect to see additional pilot programs and initiatives in the Preserve that will help our team hone their vision for the new facility. We look forward to sharing more with you, and hearing your feedback along the way!

Follow Our Progress

As projects develop, you can expect to hear more about the progress on social media, through emails and on the Shaker Village blog. We hope you follow along!

If you have questions about master site planning at Shaker Village, or if you would like to support our efforts, please reach out to our Vice President of Public Programming & Marketing, Billy Rankin at brankin@shakervillageky.org or 859.734.1574.

A Lot to Live Up To

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Public Programming and Marketing

This is the sixth article in an ongoing series outlining long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. New to the series? You can visit our previous articles here:

Westward Expansion

By the mid 1980s, the nonprofit that operates Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill had existed for over twenty years. The Village was arguably entering its heyday as a tourist destination, with annual attendance hitting all-time highs. Nearly every standing Shaker structure that remained at Pleasant Hill was owned by the organization, and had undergone extensive preservation work. Nearly every structure.

The West Lot Dwelling, and surrounding buildings, is located 1.5 miles to the west of the historic center of the Village, and was, at this time, still a private home. The opportunity was now on the table to purchase this property and to include it as part of the public experience at Shaker Village. With this acquisition, on June 4, 1986, the Village grew by 479 acres, and four more Shaker buildings, completing an inventory that was now the largest privately held collection of 19th century buildings in the country. The 1828 West Lot Dwelling was the centerpiece of the purchase, which included a spring house, a stable, and a wash house with an innovative design.

Water and Stone

The West Lot was a “gathering order” for the Shakers at Pleasant Hill. Novitiates, those new to Shaker life, would inhabit gathering orders and live as Shakers, though not full members of the society until sufficient time had passed and the individual had proven a good fit for the community. The West Lot Wash House was constructed in 1850. The Sisters of the gathering order used the building for the care of laundry and other clothing-related tasks.

Not by coincidence, the building was located at the bottom of a hill. By tapping into a nearby spring, the ever-ingenious Shakers directed natural flowing waters toward their new wash house. A channel allowed this water to flow through the building, to be collected and used as necessary, or left to flow beyond the structure, down the hillside.

Private Hands

The West Lot Family was dissolved in 1884, with the remaining members absorbed into the Centre Family. For nearly a century, the West Lot was in private hands. The West Lot Wash House was used as a home, and for storage, with a number of renovations made to the structure throughout the decades.

With Shaker Village’s purchase of the West Lot in 1986, the Wash House was to serve a new purpose.

The floor of the first level, originally home to the bulk of the sisters’ laundry duties, was opened to reveal the archaeological remains of the Shaker’s efficient design. The channel for flowing water, and the base of the stove for heating this water, were now visible. A walkway was added to allow guests access to a staircase leading to second floor, where two overnight rooms were built so that guests could spend the night in this unique structure.

By 1992, the 1850 West Lot Wash House was open to the public.

Although a popular destination for overnight guests, the original intent of the building proved to be its downfall. Without an effective method for controlling humidity, caused by water penetrating the first level, maintenance on the building proved untenable. By 2010, the building was closed to public use.

Opportunity at a Busy Intersection

The West Lot is a popular wedding venue at Shaker Village, and the base of operations for all equestrian activities on the property. The West Trailhead is also the most popular destination for hikers in the Preserve. With appropriate preservation and restoration work, the West Lot Wash House will become an important and inspirational location for guests to Shaker Village once again.

Plans for this structure include:

  • Interpretation of the archaeological site on the first level
    • Control humidity and water intrusionAdd new interpretive signs
    • Add accent lighting
  • Restore the 2nd floor overnight accommodations
    • Consolidate two existing rooms into one large suite. Install kitchenette with full refrigerator, as well as a large sitting room. Expand bathroom for wedding party preparations.
    • Design the sitting room with flexibility so that it may also be used as a “spa” or activity location for certain groups, retreats, packages and programs.
  • Resurface the entry road to the West Lot Wash House
    • Privatize this road for overnight guests and program participants by relocating the West Trailhead to West Lot Dwelling parking area, taking advantage of current paved lot for better parking and access for hikers.

Follow Our Progress

As projects develop, you can expect to hear more about the progress on social media, through emails and on the Shaker Village blog. We hope you follow along!

If you have questions about master site planning at Shaker Village, or if you would like to support our efforts, please reach out to our Vice President of Public Programming & Marketing, Billy Rankin at brankin@shakervillageky.org or 859.734.1574.

A House of Dignity and Charm

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Public Programming and Marketing

This is the fifth article in an ongoing series outlining long-range planning at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. New to the series? You can visit our previous articles here:

The Heart of Hospitality

The 1839 Trustees’ Office has been the focal point of welcoming guests to Pleasant Hill since its construction was completed by the Shakers in 1841. As a center of trade and commerce, the building was arguably more “of the world” then the other structures in the community.

New construction behind and adjacent to the 1839 Trustees’ Office would encompass new kitchens, storage, offices, HVAC systems and delivery area.

Near the end of the 19th century, the building came into private ownership, and since then it has served, almost entirely, as a house of hospitality. Millions of guests have passed beneath the wondrous twin spiral staircases on their way to dine on country fare in this building, once described in a popular postcard as A House of Dignity and Charm...

At the center of all food service for Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, the 1839 Trustees’ Office is not only home to our seed-to-table restaurant, The Trustees’ Table, but also to all food preparation for catered events across the 3,000 acre property. Additionally, the building houses eight overnight guest rooms, a craft shop, and four offices for employees.

The 1839 Trustees’ Office, c. 1880s.

Shaker Village’s Long-Range Planning Committee reviewed the challenges presented by operating a commercial kitchen in the cellar of an historic building. These challenges included an inefficient layout, limited capacity and the pressures this type of activity place on the fabric of this irreplaceable landmark. We also examined outdated HVAC systems, accessibility issues and difficulties with loading and unloading inventory and catered goods to and from the cellar.

What follows is an overview of key points of consideration, and potential plans for the future of the 1839 Trustees’ Office.

Space to Grow

The Long-Range Planning Committee determined that an expansion and modernization of kitchen facilities at the Trustees’ Office is necessary to increase service capacity for both the restaurant and catered events. This expansion provides an opportunity to offer “casual fare” for guests, filling a need in current dining offerings, and to increase cocktail and appetizer sales by creating a venue to capture both unique visitation and pre/post-dining guests.

The new construction necessary to achieve these goals will also provide an opportunity to: upgrade HVAC systems for the “central cluster,” add three overnight rooms that currently serve as offices back into service for guests, use the Trustees’ cellar as a tavern or rental space, add outdoor dining to the west side of Trustees’, add a walkup service window and bar facing the Trustees’ lawn, add accessible restroom facilities on the Trustees’ lawn, and create safe and efficient access for deliveries and waste removal.

A Brief History of the 1839 Trustees’ Office

Construction on the Trustees’ Office began in 1839, and the building was completed in 1841. The overall design of the building, along with the iconic, twin spiral stairs were likely influenced by public and private buildings in Lexington and Frankfort. For decades the Trustees’ Office served as the business offices for the Shakers and was also used to house and feed guests – both visiting Shakers and those of the “world.”

In 1896, in order to pay off debts, the Trustees’ Office and 766 acres of land were sold to John Castleman of Louisville. The building changed hands several times in the 20th century, but was used consistently as a public restaurant and inn, most notably as the “Shaker Village Guest House.” The last private owner of the building was Robert Renfrew.

In 1962, the Trustees’ Office was the first building purchased by the newly formed non-profit Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, Inc. This building was unanimously considered “the vital first purchase in the Shakertown project.”  The Shakertown Committee agreed that “possession of the inn would give the committee an asset that could be improved and turned into a moneymaker.”

Robert Renfrew receiving check for Trustees’ Office
Pictured left to right: Robert Renfrew, Bob Houlihan, Earl Wallace, Hillery Boone

Earl Wallace, then chair of the board of Trustees, claimed “the first challenge to our enthusiasm came as the option on the present Trustees’ House was about to expire. We were faced with the payment of $62,500 which we did not have. The challenge came from Barry Bingham of Louisville who said that he would give $25,000 if we would raise the balance. The seriousness of our undertaking dawned on me and five other trustees when we had to endorse Shakertown’s note at a Lexington Bank to get the balance. I recall we said at that time that Shakertown would own one property if never another!”

These 1963 floor plans show an early concept for moving kitchens out of the Trustees’ Office and into a new addition, while creating an additional food and beverage venue in the cellar of the building.

By 1963, leadership at Shaker Village were drawing up plans to expand the kitchens of the Trustees’ Office, add outdoor seating and convert the cellar to a tavern. Keep in mind that Mercer County did not allow alcohol sales at that time.

While modern plans will not be identical to those from 1963, it is worth noting the continuation of this concept.

The Trustees’ Table

The Trustees’ Table restaurant opened to the public in April 1968, under the leadership of Elizabeth Kremer. Mrs. Kremer developed a menu with a few Shaker-inspired dishes and rounded out with traditional “Southern” fare. Meals were served “family style,” with the sides for each day standardized and served in shared dishes.

The aesthetics of the restaurant were based on Shaker design, with servers in costume, menus based on the look of Shaker journals, and table settings resembling those found in upscale country homes.

Dining at the Trustees’ Table, c. 1990s.

By all accounts, the Trustees’ Table has been a popular and profitable venue for almost the entirety of its operation. While experiencing some decline in the 2000s, the expansion of onsite catering, outdoor dining and dining events, along with a resurgence in overall site visitation, has once again pressed restaurant operations to high productivity.

Shaker Village has also managed overnight guest rooms in the Trustees’ Office since 1968. Currently there are 8 overnight guest rooms in the building, though 11 rooms were developed for overnight use. The 3 rooms located on the second floor, above the kitchen, have been repurposed as offices due to the disturbance caused for guests by being above a kitchen area.

Catered events at Shaker Village take place in venues across the 3,000 acre property, with all food produced in the 1839 Trustees’ Office kitchens.

The front desk for the Inn was located in the Trustees’ Office until 2017. At that time the front desk was relocated to the Welcome Center (1815 Carpenter’s Shop) and the former front desk area was converted to additional retail space.

Future Plans

  • Construct a new kitchen with space and equipment to enable an expansion of services in the Trustees’ Table restaurant and for onsite catered events
    • Dry storage, cold storage, supply storage, alcohol storage, offices, break room, dishwashing, prep cooking, baking, grill lines, salad lines, service bar, beverage stations, first aid/safety station and loading/unloading areas to be included
    • Locations and routes related to deliveries, catering and waste removal to be considered, along with staff parking and access
    • Kitchen work spaces to be designed to allow appropriate walkways and flow for prep, service and delivery
    • Kitchen operations would be removed from 1839 structure, reducing risk of loss/damage to the historic building as well as risk to employees currently navigating narrow stairs and walkways.
  • Provide additional food and beverage venues at the Trustees’ Table, with focus on casual fare and alcohol sales
    • With cellar emptied of kitchens, space can be opened up to create an accessible “tavern” with capacity of 60-75 patrons. Alternatively, this space could be used as a location for interpretation and/or group rentals
    • A walk-up bar and grill can be included in the new construction, providing service to the Trustees’ lawn
    • Additional terrace seating can be added outside the cellar entrance on the west side of the building, making a more attractive approach to the Village center while increasing casual service capacity.
  • Add public restrooms in the cellar, along with new restrooms with outdoor access from the Trustees’ lawn, as part of the new addition, resolving a bathroom capacity issue in the center of the Village.
  • Replace HVAC system for “central cluster,” installing in new addition to Trustees’. Impacts Ministry Shop and Post Office along with Trustees’ Office.
  • Increase overnight lodging capacity by providing offices in the new addition, allowing three overnight rooms currently serving as office space in Trustees (above current kitchens) to go back into service for guests.

Design Goals

Before any design will be rendered for this important projects, a number of key design topics will be discussed by a variety of experts and stakeholders, including:

  • New construction should not impede the historic viewshed from Trustees’ Office to garden
  • One outcome is to create a more attractive and obvious approach from guest parking area to the Trustees’ Office
  • The Long-Range Planning Committee is also working with historic preservationists, architects and artists to determine our approach to the following questions: Is the new construction a showpiece, or meant to be unobtrusive? Is new construction blending with Shaker architecture, or does it have a more modern design? How will landscaping tell an historic story, while also creating the appropriate aesthetic atmosphere for guests?

Follow Our Progress

As projects develop, you can expect to hear more about the progress on social media, through emails and on the Shaker Village blog. We hope you follow along!

If you have questions about master site planning at Shaker Village, or if you would like to support our efforts, please reach out to our Vice President of Public Programming & Marketing, Billy Rankin at brankin@shakervillageky.org or 859.734.1574.