Hancock Shaker Village lands grant to further restoration work

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PITTSFIELD — Hancock Shaker Village has received $110,000 to continue its restoration project at the historic village, the organization said in a news release.

The latest round of restoration will address the Brick Dwelling, the communal living hall that was home to 300 Shakers for 100 years. The Dwelling's 142 windows and 111 sets of shutters, along with the structure's bell tower, are slated for restoration. Improvements and repairs to the building's electrical and fire-detection systems also will be made.

The grant comes from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. Combined with other gifts and grants $235,826 so far has been put into the restoration project, or just more than half of the anticipated $400,000 required to complete the slate of essential projects, according to Hancock Shaker Village President & CEO Linda Steigleder. She hopes to reach the $400,000 fund goal by fall 2016.

Other funding is pending from The Jane and Jack Fitzpatrick Trust and both the 2016 and 2017 Cause-within-the-Cause campaigns, which together will optimistically realize an additional $100,000.

The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund requires that the state Historical Commission approve the Shaker Village restoration plan before releasing funds. The agency's approval is expected within several months, possibly sooner.

Hancock Shaker Village will get in-kind expertise from construction professionals Cherie and Harlow Murray of Saginaw, Mich., who have long admired the historic village and who visit regularly from the Midwest. The Murrays will conduct a pro-bono condition report on the Brick Dwelling for the Priority Restoration and Repairs Project.

The restoration includes work at the Round Stone Barn, repairs to the Trustees' Office and Store, upgrades to the HVAC and fire suppression systems in the visitor center, and interior renovation and HVAC improvements in the Discovery Barn, among other improvements.


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