The building dates back to 1906, when it was constructed by the Berkshire Railway System to host a steam boiler and large electrical generators to power trolley cars. But, by 1910, the building had become too small and the railroad built new on East Street. In 1924, the Polish community petitioned the Catholic Diocese of Springfield for their own church and the building was converted.
It was closed in 2008 along with two other Pittsfield churches when the diocese consolidated. It has been vacant the last decade until CT Management purchased it last year.
"We're going to do 10 really nice, modern, unique, residences. They are not traditional built-for-the-masses residences. These are going to have all the utility and modern elements but have the uniqueness of space that you can't find anywhere else," said Craig Barnum of CT Management Group in December when describing the project.
"There are extremely high ceilings in a lot of these units that have beautiful barrel arches. We've maintained a lot of the interior integrity in the molding. The windows are extremely cool."
Many of the details of the former church were kept.
The building features a large four-bedroom unit and several one-bedrooms in the main sanctuary area. It is now two floors. The developers kept the high, arched ceilings, and built the units around the existing architecture. Barnum said the company attempted to preserve as much of the original building as possible -- including using church pews as trimming around windows.
The company opened the building up on Thursday to former parishioners of Holy Family so they could see the changes. Barnum said the units are being leased to a mixed demographic -- from young working professionals to retirees to families.
Plans for the $1.8 million project began in 2016, when the city approved a tax incremental financing package for the company. CT Management said retrofitting such a building is more expensive than constructing new apartments and the city's assistance essentially helps keep the rents aligned with what the market can bear. Otherwise, the building could still be vacant.
The Berkshires has numerous vacant church properties. Some of them have seen the wrecking ball, like St. Francis of Assisi in North Adams, while others are being re-used. CT Management has particularly picked up its focus on saving the historic buildings and what is now called "Powerhouse Lofts" is just the latest.
The city has been particularly interested in getting more market-rate housing in its downtown area. In recent years, there has been an increased demand and a number of projects have been completed bringing those units to market.
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Miss Hall's School Graduates 60 Students
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sixty students, including sixteen from Berkshire County and nearby communities, graduated on Sunday, May 31, during Miss Hall’s School's 2020 graduation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program this year was held online, with students and their families from around the globe joining via Zoom. The event, which was also live-streamed, included remarks from Board of Trustees President Nancy Gustafson Ault, MHS Class of 1973; Head of School Julia Heaton; Senior Class President Ria Kedia of Pittsfield; and School President Ayla Wallace of York, Pa. Actress Jayne Atkinson, selected by the class as its speaker, sent special words of wisdom to the seniors.
Among the Class of 2020 graduates are the following local students: Ella Biancolo of Pittsfield; Emily Carmel of Pittsfield; Hannah Chrzanowski of Dalton; Maya Creamer, of Pittsfield; Angela Guachione of Pittsfield; Meredith Hall of Adams; Olivia Irion of Washington; Ria Kedia of Pittsfield; Lanna Knoll of Great Barrington; Emma Kotelnicki of Dalton; Isabelle Lapierre of Dalton; Soleil Laurin of Pittsfield; Jenna Maces of Pittsfield; Téa Mazzeo of Pittsfield; Kathryn Sirois of Stockbridge; and Charlotte Smith of New Marlborough.
The following awards were also bestowed on members of the Class of 2020:
• Joseph F. Buerger Memorial School Spirit Cup: Emily Carmel of Pittsfield
• Margaret Witherspoon Award: Ayla Wallace of York, Pa.
• Christine Fuller Holland ’33 Service Prize: Bingqi Wang of Jinan, Shandong, China
Mary Hines, president of the Pittsfield High School class of 2020, will speak at the PHS' virtual graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 7. The event will be aired by Pittsfield Community Television at 1 p.m. click for more
Persip said he did not have an issue removing the City Council oversight but wanted some public process instituted. He said he wanted to be sure people knew about the fines if they were to change.
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