The City of Pittsfield is the cultural, commercial, legal, and medical center of the Berkshires. Downtown Pittsfield is home to the gilded-age Colonial Theatre, the Berkshire Museum, the Beacon Cinema (multi-plex), the Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Athenaeum, Wahconah Park and Hebert Arboretum. In recent years, the city has undergone a transformation with significant investment in the historic downtown, including a variety of new restaurants (French, Japanese, Sushi, Mexican, American, etc.), condominium and other residential developments and cultural attractions.
Colonial Theatre circa 1918
The Colonial Theatre, dating from 1903, was named by Hillary Clinton as a National Historic Treasure in 1998. The community invested more than $22 million to refurbish the 100-year old Colonial Theatre, one of the only theaters of its kind from the Vaudeville age and has been described as the “one of the finest acoustical theaters in the world.”
Barrington Stage Company, the Tony Award-winning producer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee invested millions into its newly renovated stage in downtown Pittsfield, along with the development of other stages within the downtown for smaller performances. Barrington Stage’s head of its Musical Theatre Lab, William Finn, told the Boston Globe that he was determined to make Pittsfield the “epicenter of the musical theater universe.”
The Berkshire Museum, the oldest and most diverse museum in the Berkshires, has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation that incorporated a state-of-the-art air control system that will allow it to attract world-class exhibits.
Many of the Berkshires’ oldest homes, dating to the mid-18th century, can be found in Pittsfield, as well as many historic neighborhoods dating from the late 19th century and early 20th century.