ARCHI TEC TURE
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Old Dairy and Coach Barns, the monumental Queen Anne Farm Barn, and a rambling
Shingle Style house at the lake’s edge. Robertson brought in America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted,
whose design divided the estate into thirds:
equal parts farmland, forest, and parkland.
He created the meandering road system that
provides stirring views of the barns, forests,
fields, meadows, and the Adirondack Mountains across the lake.
At its height in the early 20th century,
Shelburne Farms was a vast enterprise
designed not only to showcase the Webbs’
wealth but also to lead the way to improved
agricultural practices. But it was never prof-
itable, and Lila and Seward’s heirs struggled
to keep it afloat.
In 1972, grandson Derick Vanderbilt
Webb and his six children formed the nonprofit Shelburne Farms Resources, now simply known as Shelburne Farms. Centered on
1,500 of the farm’s original 3,800 acres, the
enterprise began to offer school programs
brown swiss cows and Sails,
an installation by local artist
Nancy Winship Milliken, frame
the view of the Inn at Shelburne
Farms (above). Dairy farm
manager Sam Dixon (left)
oversees a herd of 120 milking
cows and 108 young calves.
Market garden manager Josh
Carter is in one of the year-round greenhouses (facing
page, top), in which spinach,
kale, and other hardy greens
are grown. The half-timbered,
brick-and-stucco Coach Barn
(facing page, bottom) is a
sought-out venue for weddings
and other events.