The boutique hotel proposal for downtown Pittsfield has considerable potential and is earning the praise it is receiving from city officials and community leaders in its early stages. The concept is a unique one for the city, which is not ordinarily associated with the upscale projects long seen elsewhere in the Berkshires. It is time that it should be.
Laurie and Don Tierney, owners of the two historic buildings at 273 to 297 North St. they plan to develop into the Hotel on North, provided details of the project at a reception and press conference Tuesday before the Community Development Board, which approved special permits related to parking. A main selling point for the project is the management team, which runs the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and the Porches Inn in North Adams, both highly regarded. The Fitzpatrick family would in effect be lending its expertise as well as its brand name to the luxury hotel project.
The ongoing renaissance of Pittsfield's downtown requires a variety of components, and the presence of the boutique hotel would fill a gap. It is easy to imagine business visitors staying at the hotel as well as tourists and patrons of cultural attractions like Barrington Stage and the Colonial Theatre. In the process, two beautiful brick buildings built in the 1880s, still standing because of their historic designation, would be brought fully back to life. The two restaurants on the lower level will remain and can only benefit.
The hotel, projected to open for business in the spring of 2015, will provide construction jobs first and service and management jobs later. The Hotel on North promises to be a remarkable addition to Pittsfield's downtown.