Architecture of the Shakers, ” a religious sect of English origin that founded its first community in America in 1776. Their structures were built of wood, stone, or bricks, which they made themselves. Their distinctive architecture is a combination of unadorned simplicity and functionality. Men and women lived in the same building in separate but equal facilities, symmetric in plan, with men on one side and women on the other. In some communities, even the hallways and stairways were separate. The large meeting rooms for religious services, usually in a separate building, had no internal partitions or posts so as to leave an unimpeded space for the fervent dancing that formed part of the religious ritual and from which the sect derived the name “Shaking Quakers” or “Shakers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.