PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Lightscapes is kicking off a fundraising campaign on Monday to match a state grant to bring a lighting installation to the city's downtown.
The nonprofit committee organized by the Downtown Pittsfield Cultural Association was approved last month for a $50,000 Commonwealth Places/MassDevelopment matching grant. It hopes to raise the $50,000 in matching funds by May 18.
The goal is to create a modern LED lighting scheme for Park Square, City Hall and Dunham Mall. The cost is estimated at $100,000 and installation would occurr by August.
The Steering Committee is made up of local residents, artists and folks just passionate about the future of Pittsfield and the revitalization of the downtown. According to a press release from the committee, its earliest meetings involved discussions about the "energy-giving" power of light and how state-of-the-art light emitting diodes lighting could aid in the ongoing transformation of the city.
In December, the group with the help of Philips Lighting and consultants Apex Lighting Solutions demonstrated the possibilities by lighting up elements of North Street, including the historic bank building at 100 North.
The BL Steering Committee has developed a plan to create permanent, artistic areas of light
(lightscapes) on downtown buildings, in public spaces and connecting alleyways at a scale and cost appropriate to our city. In doing this, the committee says it will Illuminate the beautiful structures and public spaces to create a safe, colorful and vibrant downtown.
When events and performances are scheduled in lightscape spaces, the city will cordon off these areas to traffic. Examples of lightscape events include dances, musical performances, yoga, craft shows, public school events, food tastings, etc. Anticipated lightscape hours are dusk to 10.
The committee has worked closely with the mayor's office and Pittsfield's Community Development Department on all phases of this project. A member of the Community Development Department is on the Steering Committee, which will continue to collaborate with the city on lighting equipment selection and installation.
Dunham Mall is a pedestrian thoroughfare connecting North Street's commercial district with City Hall. In the daytime, many people use Dunham Mall as a pedestrian connecting corridor. It's rarely used at night, but enhanced lighting would provide a "corridor of artistic light" to illuminate the event/entertainment venue in front of City Hall.
City Hall does have muted white light on its front façade. BL would enhance the current lighting by adding tasteful lighting (the lightscape) to the front of the building and the front railings. This will bring out the architectural beauty of this historical structure and provide safety with the lit stair rails. Entertainment and events would be located in front of City Hall, and onto contiguous areas.
Estimated Cost: $34,000 for lighting on Dunham Mall and City Hall
Park Square is a small "park" right in the center of the downtown. It is framed by some of the most historically significant buildings in Pittsfield. BL believes it's an excellent location for artistic lighting, both within the square, but also future uplighting and highlighting of some of the significant surrounding architecture.
The preliminary plan proposes two memorial style spotlights to highlight the historic Civil War monument facing North Street; and 21 uplights on the existing Acorn Lights. The Park Square lighting plan and costs were developed by Craig Okerstrom-Lang, landscape architects in Great Barrington.
Estimated Cost: $61,000 for lighting on Park Square
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
EforAll's David Parker was impressed by how collaboratively local leaders worked together to bring in the program.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield and the larger Berkshire County community are welcoming the local launch of Entrepreneurship for All, a nonprofit aimed at helping aspiring entrepreneurs find success.
A group of local, community, and business leaders introduced the Berkshire chapter of EforAll at co-working space Framework on North Street on Monday morning.
"As we stand shoulder-to-shoulder as we are today we can be transformative and today we welcome EforAll to the city of Pittsfield and Berkshire County," Mayor Linda Tyer said.
EforAll is a nonprofit program launched by the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2010. Originally called Merrimack Valley Sandbox, it uses public-private partnerships to create economic and social impact by providing entrepreneurs from all backgrounds with resources and local mentors.
Four names will be on the preliminary ballot but only three candidates showed for the debate held by the Pittsfield Gazette and hosted at Berkshire Community College. The moderator was radio host Larry Kratka and Pittsfield Community Television aired the event.
click for more
City Council President Peter Marchetti feels he's brought "professional leadership" to the city and he wants to continue doing so.
Marchetti is again seeking re-election to the council - it'll be his ninth campaign for council and 10th for elected office - in the last two decades. He's had what... click for more
At a ward meeting, Helen Moon was elated to see a young woman in her 20s take a seat in the audience.
At ward meetings and at the polls, it is often the same group of people making their voices heard. But this woman wasn't someone Moon had heard much from in the past so it made her happy to see... click for more