Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Located on Stinson Neck in Deer Isle, Maine, the award-winning campus, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2006.

Built on a cliff overlooking Jericho Bay in the Atlantic Ocean, Haystack’s campus has served as a muse to many who have come here to create. The school is located on forty quiet, wooded acres in the small island community of Deer Isle. The campus was designed in 1960 by noted architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, and in 1994 was awarded the American Institute of Architects Twenty-Five Year Award, one of only forty buildings in the United States to receive this distinction. In 2006 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The school's award-winning campus was represented in the Portland, Maine exhibition, maine modern: 50 years of modern architecture in maine, from October 1-31, 2010.

The dramatic central stairway, cascading down to the swirling waters below, grabs your attention first. It is flanked on either side by weathered cedar-shingled studios, a spacious dining hall, and the student and faculty cabins. Standing at the top, one can view the white and pink granite shores along Merchants Row, an archipelago of 30 or 40 islands peppering the horizon. The 100-seat Gateway Auditorium is a central gathering place for lectures, performances and end-of-session auctions. Haystack’s library, rebuilt in 1997, holds over 1000 titles, including fine craft books, exhibition catalogs, art journals and scholarly monographs. Also on site is a well-equipped store that provides artists’ supplies and quality books.

“Haystack is like a marina that floats over land instead of water, a village of shingled pavilions – workshops and dormitory cabins – all lifted up a couple of feet on posts and connected by a network of decks and walkways… The building was instantly accepted as a classic and became a major influence on the American architecture of the 1960’s.”


~ Robert Campbell, The Boston Globe

From June through August, please consider joining us for a Wednesday tour of the Haystack campus if you are in the area. Find out more about visiting Haystack off-season and on non-tour days, and see more photos of Haystack's campus in our Photo Gallery.

Main Stairs

Campus Improvements

Work never stops on renovating and replacing Haystack’s award-winning campus. In 2012 many deck boards were replaced throughout the summer and in the hotshop recent work included the installation of a new electric glass furnace and a memorial donation of $5,000, for improvements to the blacksmithing studio, included a new belt sander. As part of work that is being funded by the Save America’s Treasure’s grant, the deck that connects the clay and wood studios will be replaced and we are currently replacing windows and re-roofing and re-shingling the cabins on faculty row (see images below). Additionally, green initiatives have begun with data gathering using meters—posted at various locations on campus—which measure water and electricity use.




2011 marked the 50th Anniversary of Haystack's award-winning campus







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When Haystack was forced by highway construction to move from its original location in Montville, Maine, it moved to its current site. Designed by American architect Edward Larrabee Barnes (1915-2004), Haystack’s Deer Isle campus opened in 1961, and was the perfect complement to the school’s progressive programs in craft education. It was recognized as an outstanding example of Modernist architecture by the American Institute of Architects in 1994 with the presentation of the organization's Twenty-Five Year Award. It is one of only forty-one buildings in the country to achieve this distinction. Others include Rockefeller Center, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Guggenheim Museum, and the East Building of the National Gallery. In 2006 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a building of national significance. Ed Barnes’ work and vision have influenced generations of American architects. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in 2007. 2011 marked the 50th anniversary fo Haystack's award-winning campus in Deer Isle. A number of events were held to commemorate Ed's legacy and this important milestone.

50th Anniversary Events

  • A season-long exhibition, Haystack Architecture: Vision and Legacy, focused on the influence of Haystack’s architecture and Edward Larrabee Barnes on leading architects in the US. The show featured a number of architects and included models of buildings (including Haystack’s campus) and narratives.
  • Campaign for Haystack: Campus 50th Anniversary was launched in spring 2011 to raise additional funds for campus renovation projects and to initiate a study to create a ‘greener’ campus. Haystack met its goal before the year ended.
  • A seminar, Vision and Legacy: The Haystack Campus at 50, organized with the Maine chapter of the American Institute of Architects (September 19-20), looked at Haystack’s architecture, its impact, and architecture in Maine.

Campaign for Haystack: Campus 50th Anniversary

As part of the anniversary, the school launched a fundraising campaign, Campaign for Haystack: Campus 50th Anniversary, that supports facility projects and campus planning and ensure the long term stability of these landmark buildings. A $350,000 goal was set for this effort. While the funds raised are allocated towards projects that will preserve the past, Haystack is also looking to the future and is allocating campaign funds to support studies on integrating new technologies for a more sustainable campus in order to create a ‘greener’ facility. Read articles from our Spring 2011 Gateway newsletter to learn more about the initial costs to build Haystack's campus and the recent campaign, which concluded in December 2011.