In 2013, the nuns began the design process. Delving into their rich Carmelite history of architecture and tradition, the Nuns are recreating the way monasteries were originally designed: to be settlements, not just a building. These settlements are mini villages, made up of small, auxiliary buildings connected by walkways, courtyards, and gardens. The church stands at its center. On the perimeter are fields and pastures for their crops and livestock. Following in the footsteps of their Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Avila, the new monastery farmstead is designed on a smaller scale, meant for more of a family-sized religious community. Much like homesteaders of 19th century America, these Nuns are building not just a home, but a self-sustaining community, in which they raise their animals, till their fields, tend their gardens, spin their wool, and ply their needles. The community’s enthusiasm for and commitment to these ideals seeks to express itself in a visible, tangible way: a blossoming of interior monasticism into “stone and wood” reality.
- In the style of Colonial building methods, each building will be constructed using only authentic materials and craftsmanship. Stone masonry, timber framing, slate, plaster, and reclaimed wood for flooring will be used to recreate the simple and humble style of our American heritage.
- Building materials will be sourced as locally as possible. For example, the woodshed will be built with stone from the property; and the utility garage and guest cottages will use stone from an 18th century farmhouse and barn donated by a local family.
- May 14th through July 25th, a series of stone and timber framing workshops will be held by certified craftsmen to construct a 600 sq. ft. woodshed. These and future workshops for the utility garage and guest cottages are aimed at cultivating a local workforce comprised of both volunteer and professional individuals.