Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has hired John Milner Architects to guide the preservation and restoration of its 1824 Centre Family Dwelling and 1820 Meeting House.
In January, the Harrodsburg historic site announced that it had received a $5.1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support the project, called Restoring the Spiritual Center.
“As one of the nation’s premier historic sites, our first responsibility is the long-term protection of these historically and architecturally significant structures,” Shaker Village President and CEO Maynard Crossland said in a news release. “The extensive historic preservation expertise demonstrated by nationally recognized John Milner Architects Inc. was a compelling factor in our selection.”
Pennsylvania-based John Milner Architects worked with Shaker Village on a 2013 historic preservation site review that identified deterioration threatening the property.
The news release issued by Shaker Village said the buildings “are testaments to Kentucky Shaker craftsmanship, ingenuity and spirituality,” and the preservation effort will improve management, care and public access to the buildings and Shaker collections and archives.
The Centre Family Dwelling, at 24,000 square feet, was once the state’s second-largest structure, and the Meeting House is noteworthy because its second floor is supported by an intricate system of hanging trusses.
Shaker Village, a 3,000-acre National Historic Landmark, is in the early stages of an effort to “transform the property into a vibrant cultural resource to preserve the site’s future,” according to the release. “The initiative will equip historic spaces for new community-centered programs that ignite curiosity, expand imaginations and inspire tomorrow’s preservationists, conservationists and historians.”
Mr. and Mrs. Eli Lilly of the Indianapolis pharmaceutical company became the largest patrons of the first effort to restore Shaker Village that began in the 1960s.
The last Kentucky Shaker died in 1923.