When Pittsfield's leaders decided to raze the original meeting house in 1793, architect Charles Bulfinch was called in to design it. The city would build a new meeting house on the property of John Chandler Williams (part of deal made to save the Pittsfield Elm) and the meeting house became a church instead.
The original structure of Pittsfield’s Bulfinch Church had an open cupola belfry, which was one of the first of its kind in New England. The Bulfinch Church served the First Church of Christ Congregation until 1851, when the building caught fire. Although the fire was contained to part of the interior, the congregation voted to replace it with a stone building.
The Bulfinch Church was sold and moved to the corner of North Street and Maplewood Avenue, where it became the Maplewood Girls Institute. It was torn down in 1939, after being deemed a fire hazard.
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Bulfinch Church, designed in 1793 by Charles Bullfinch, originally stood in Park square, a little south of the present First Church. After a fire in 1851, it was sold to the Maplewood Institute, a private school and used as a gymnasium.
In 1887, when the Maplewood Institute closed and became a hotel, the Bulfinch Church was used as a ballroom. The hotel closed during the Great Depression. The church was demolished in 1939. Photo from 1936.
Bulfinch Church, on North Street and Maplewood Avenue.
Bulfinch Church was used as a gymnasium by the Maplewood Girls Institute.
Model of Bulfinch Church for Bicentennial Exhibit at the Berkshire Museum. June 1961 Berkshires Week
Model of Bulfinch Church for Bicentennial Exhibit at the Berkshire Museum. June 1961
In 1887, when the Maplewood Institute closed and became a hotel, the Bulfinch Church was used as a ballroom. The hotel closed during the Great Depression. The church was demolished in 1939.
Bulfinch Church as it was designed by Charles Bulfinch.
Bulfinch Church model created by James Lambert, left, and John H. Sturgeon. July 8, 1961.
Bulfinch Church as it originally stood on Park Square in Pittsfield.
Original caption: The Bulfinch Church, as it now stands on the Maplewood Hotel Property, longing for another ride down North Street back to Park Square where, for more than 50 years it was the center of religious activity.