Historic James A. Bowes Building / Pittsfield Probate Courthouse

Restoration of the Pittsfield Probate Courthouse, the historic James A. Bowes Building has begun. Set in the middle of park square, this collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management will bring the long overdue façade of the Athenaeum back to life. Restorations will including the careful cleaning of the stone façade, which will involve dismantling much of the stone work. This process is done by marking each stone for placement and then reassembling it over a 12-month period. Other exterior and interior features of the structure will also be restored.

The historic James A. Bowes Building, originally built in 1872 was designed by New York architect William Appleton Potter. It is in the High Victorian Gothic style, constructed of dark blue limestone from Great Barrington, red freestone from Longmeadow and red granite from Missouri. The 1876 building became the Berkshire County Registry of Deeds in 1975 when the Berkshire Athenaeum moved to the current library building two doors away. It now houses the Middle District Registry of Deeds and Berkshire County Probate and Family Court. Also known as the Old Athenaeum building, the structure served as the city's library until it was replaced by the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wendell Avenue in 1976.