Campus & Buildings

Shelburne Farms awarded $500,000 Save America’s Treasures Grant

Aerial photo of historic breeding barn at Shelburne Farms
Breeding Barn circa 2009. Photo by Marshall Webb.

Exterior restoration of historic Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms to be completed under new grant award

Shelburne Farms is excited to announce that it has been awarded a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.  

The award of $500,000 will be used to preserve the historic Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms—one of America’s great barns—as a gathering hall for educational, agricultural, and community events. A magnificent and architecturally significant building built in 1891 to breed and showcase horses, the Breeding Barn is a primary contributing structure to the 2001 designation of Shelburne Farms as a National Historic Landmark District. 

“Shelburne Farms is recognized as an outstanding historic model farm and country estate with a significant pastoral landscape graced by monumental buildings like the iconic Breeding Barn. We applaud Shelburne Farms for the tireless efforts to ensure its preservation and accessibility to the public,” said Laura Trieschmann, Vermont’s State Historic Preservation Officer.

Since acquiring the Breeding Barn in 1994, Shelburne Farms has worked to stabilize this one-of-a-kind building, which was suffering from long deferred maintenance, in order to integrate it with the nonprofit's working farm campus. Over the past years, emergency stabilization, roof replacement, and structural repairs have been completed. The new federal funding will enable Shelburne Farms to complete the final phase of this essential building envelope work, which includes repairing and conserving the windows, siding, and doors below the roof-line, and installing modern fire protection technology to meet life safety requirements and protect and secure the building for the future.  

“This grant will allow us to address the final architectural obstacles for preserving the Breeding Barn,” said Shelburne Farms president, Alec Webb.  “We see incredible future potential for integrating the Breeding Barn into the Farm’s education and community program activities as a spectacular and inspirational gathering space.” 

The award is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant that requires Shelburne Farms to secure an additional $500,000 in private charitable investment. Donors interested in supporting this project are invited to contact the nonprofit organization. 

In September, the National Park Service (NPS) announced $15.5 million in Save America’s Treasures grants to help fund 49 projects in 29 states. “The Save America's Treasures program seeks to preserve and rehabilitate some of the most significant and iconic American structures and collections. Together with our partners, these grants help enable museums, states, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofits to fulfill their preservation work for future generations to experience, learn from, and enjoy,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. 

This project is supported through the Save America's Treasures Grants Program, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. 


Submitted by Len Bull on Tue , 09/28/2021 - 09:23 AM

Having been responsible for that barn from a use standpoint between 1981-89 while at UVM, I am SO pleased to see this and congratulate the entire Webb family and others for this award!
This is truly a one of a kind and in this day when we seem to be bent on purging visual connection to our past, this is one that MUST be preserved! It is truly a National Treasure!! Great work, all of you! LEN

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