Hancock Shaker Village

Pittsfield, MA

Client: Hancock Shaker Village


Project Type: Master Plan

Established in 1783, Hancock Village became a thriving Shaker community that prospered for nearly two centuries. The village is located on Route 20, a busy road that connects nearby Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Albany, New York. After closing the community in 1960, the Shaker Central Ministry sold the buildings and surrounding acreage to a not-for-profit group of Shaker enthusiasts. A National Historic Landmark, Hancock Shaker Village opened to the public in July of 1961.

In 2007, the museum hired John G. Waite Associates, Architects, working with landscape architect Elmore Design Collaborative, to develop a master plan for the museum. Beginning with an assessment of the immediate needs, the firms reviewed existing historic documents and maintenance records, inspected the buildings, and evaluated the historic integrity of the buildings and landscape. The use and capacity of the modern buildings was reviewed, and the need for new facilities were identified. The team also developed landscape planning maps and worked with the museum to establish guidelines and a philosophy for building and landscape preservation while establishing priorities for the future maintenance and growth of the museum.