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The Historical Commission has sold 32 of its first 40 copies of 'Down Memory Lane' and has ordered 20 more.

'Down Memory Lane' Issues a Success in Dalton

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The reissuing of the book "Down Memory Lane" has been a success, Historical Commission members said during its meeting on Wednesday. 
 
At the time of meeting there were only eight more copies left of the 40 reprints. The commission started to accept orders in December. 
 
Commissioners voted to order another 20 copies.
 
This is the second time they ordered more copies. They initially ordered 20 from Adams Specialty & Printing Co. but voted to order another 20 during their last meeting due to the high demand. 
 
The commission is interested in selling the books at elections where they hope to be able to accept cash. This will be discussed in more detail at a future meeting. 
 
More information on the reissuing of "Down Memory Lane" here
 
The commission is also went over the next steps in developing two more historical districts. Co-Chair Deborah Kovacs said it has to gather pictures and the historical district footprint before hiring an expert. This is after speaking with Ben Haley, preservation planner at the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
 
The commission has to have a contract with an expert by the end of the year, she said. The funding to hire a specialist is coming from a state cultural grant in the amount of $5,000.
 
In addition, there is funding from a $15,000 matching grant that was approved during a town meeting in May 2022 for the establishment of the second and a third historic district. 
 
During a previous meeting, the commission decided to establish the last two proposed historic districts, Dalton Center and East Main Street, one at a time rather than simultaneously. 
 
Using the $5,000 from the state cultural grant will allow for a matching amount of $5,000 from the town, which will be used to establish the Dalton Center Historic District. 
 
Over the next few months the commission will gather material from its collection and discuss next steps when co-Chair Louisa Hort returns to the area at the end of May. 
 
More information on the establishing of the historic districts here
 
In other news: 
 
The commission is researching the history of Sugar Hill and the surrounding grounds. 
 
Sugar Hill management reached out to the commission a couple years ago to inquire on hosting speakers to inform residents of the building's history. 
 
The commission is working to research not only the history and origins of the building but also the grounds to inform future collaboration opportunities with the assisted living facility. 
 
A majority of the commission's collection was being stored at First Congregational Church while Town Hall was being renovated. Now that it's been moved back, commissioners are rediscovering some items that can inform the research of the facility's building and the surrounding area. 
 
• The town's received its first quote for the project of painting the Fitch Hoose House. The funds will need to be approved during the town meeting in May. 
 
The museum's exterior is starting to peel and weather, and would need to be repainted this year or next year. More information here

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West Side Residents Build Ideal Neighborhood At Zoning Session

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Program manager James McGrath opens the session at Conte Community School.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents mapped out a West Side they would like to see during an input session this week, utilizing multi-use properties to create robust density.

Held at Conte Community School on Monday, this was the second meeting of a project to examine zoning in the neighborhood. The Department of Community Development, in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, has been working with an urban planning and design consulting team on the effort that will conclude on June 30.

"This is a really important project for your neighborhood," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

Multifamily houses with spaces to accommodate a small business were popular. A community center, church, year-round farmer's market, and even a place to draw in commerce appeared as elements on the tabletop street.

An emphasis was also placed on the amount of immigrants coming to the area in need of housing.

Max Douhoure, community outreach coordinator for Habitat, explained that he grew up in Africa where people liked to live together, which his build reflected.

"I wanted to improve their conditions," he said. "That’s what I did."

During the first meeting in November, the team heard desires for businesses and commercial uses — including a need for small, family-owned business support. The session provided an overview of what zoning is, what zoning can and can't do, how zoning can improve the community, and the impact on residents.

"Today's exercise is really about creating spaces in buildings and on properties to do a combination of residential [uses] that meet the needs and commercial uses that meet the needs of the neighborhood,"  Emily Keys Innes, principal of Innes Associates explained.

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