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Old Berkshire Athenaeum Saved Again

Newly restored Berkshire Anthenaeum

Since September 2013, the yard in front of the Superior Court and the old Berkshire Athenaeum on Park Square in Pittsfield had a chain link fence, construction trailers, portable toilets and gravel. And yet, in practically no time at all, the scaffolding and fencing has been taken down, and fresh green sod lies in their place. What we see now seems much the same as it looked before work started.  However, despite its similar appearance, the building underwent an intensely involved restoration process.


Almost five years ago, the state, which operates the courthouses and registry of deeds in the building now, took the first steps of what started as a "small repair," according to architect John Krifka. Because of the conditions of the building, though, what took place behind the green curtain over the last two years has turned into a monumental effort to secure the front façade and preserve a building almost 140 years old.  Allegrone overcame the feat of carefully deconstructing the front facade by individual stone and then placing them back in the original locations after intense structural reinforcing.  The end result is a building of similar appearance to the old, but now much more stable with beautified stained glass and restored tracery.

Original Design of the Berkshire Athenaeum

Click read more to find the full article by the Berkshire Eagle

Preservation Officials Tour Berkshire Courthouse Restoration

Probate Court

Michael Mucci of Allegrone meets with members of the Western Massachusetts Historical Commission Coalition to review the project.

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The $2.8 million ongoing construction at the Berkshire Family & Probate Court is painstakingly preserving and restoring the landmark Park Square structure as near as possible to its original appearance, according to builders on the job.

"When we're all done, this building is going to look a lot more like it did in 1876," Allegrone Construction's Michael Mucci said of the historic former Berkshire Athenaeum building that today houses the courts and Berkshire Middle Registry of Deeds.  

Allegrone reported it is using "almost no new stone," instead patching and binding together broken existing wall stone with careful masonry as they rebuild the deconstructed facade.  A new steel structure extending from the basement to the second story was erected to hold the rebuilt stonework from within.

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