Peter Watson and his wife Stephanie moved to New Lebanon in 2001 for the sake of an historic house. “It’s been a 15-year restoration project that got me to change careers,” he said. Peter spent twenty years working as management consultant to Fortune 500 firms before changing course to become a preservationist and architectural historian.
Peter grew up on the north shore of Long Island, mainly in Connecticut. He developed his love of old buildings in childhood, exploring and working on the 1728 colonial house which was his father’s office. He holds a B.A. in History from Wesleyan University and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University GSAPP. Peter currently serves as a Board Member of Historic Hudson and is a trustee at the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.His work varies, including everything from researching, giving public lectures, guiding house tours, and curating exhibits, to writing blogs. He has come to appreciate the importance of the Shakers site at Mount Lebanon, and devotes his time to helping preserve and share what he calls “this incredible legacy.”
“One of the key things that made me make the shift to preservation was looking at a pile of papers, my old reports,” Peter said. “I spent countless hours on them. They were sitting on the table, and I thought, ‘What do I have but a bunch of crummy presentations?’ Now I can say, ‘I saved that building. I restored that building. You can go in there and enjoy it because I took care of it.’”