Morningside Fire Station

The former fire station at 231 Tyler St. in Pittsfield, a two-story brick structure that opened in 1906, previously was used by Pittsfield firefighters in 1970, and it served as the base of operations for the Emergency Management Agency before roof leaks and water damage led to the building’s closure in 2008.

PITTSFIELD — A local developer with a track record for converting historic structures into housing is hoping to breathe new life into the former Morningside Firehouse on Tyler Street, and is seeking state and local money to make it happen.

The former station at 231 Tyler St., a two-story brick structure that opened in 1906, was designed by noted Pittsfield architect Joseph McArthur Vance. It previously was used by Pittsfield firefighters until 1970, and served as the base of operations for the Emergency Management Agency before roof leaks and water damage led to the building’s closure in 2008.

Over the past several years, the city sought redevelopment proposals for the firehouse. City Planner Cornelius Hoss told the Historical Commission this month that, as recently as last year, he thought the structure was bound for demolition.

But, the decision was made to solicit proposals one more time, Hoss said. Purchasing Agent Colleen Hunter-Mullett said Tuesday that only one company, CT Management Group, submitted an application proposing to reuse the building, offering the city $1,000 for the vacant building.

The sale had not been finalized as of Tuesday, according to Hunter-Mullett, and Hoss said that David Carver, the developer, is working on lining up financing for the estimated $1.25 million redevelopment project. Carver has proposed redeveloping the firehouse into four two-bedroom, market-rate apartments.

To that end, the city’s Historical Commission on June 14 deemed the firehouse a “historic building.” The designation allowed Carver to request $100,000 from the city’s pot of Community Preservation Act money. Hoss said the Community Preservation Committee will consider the application out of cycle with discussions about Carver’s funding request to begin at the panel’s next meeting, on July 12.

Several elected and business leaders, including Mayor Linda Tyer, state Rep. {span}Tricia Farley{/span}{span}-{/span}{span}Bouvier{/span}, state Sen. Adam Hinds and Jonathan Butler, president and chief executive of 1Berkshire, sent letters of support for Carver’s proposal to Mike Kennealy, secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, urging the agency to back the project.

They noted the experience Carver’s CT Management has converting historic buildings into housing, like the Power House Lofts and the Morning Star Apartments at the old St. Mary the Morning Star Church.

The rear of the firehouse is “beyond repair” after the roof collapsed, according to Carver’s CPA application. Plans include removing the rear portion of the building for parking and open space.

The firehouse is located in the Transformative Development Initiative district, where construction of the city’s Tyler Street streetscape project is expected to get underway “in the next week or so,” Hoss said.

“The main section roof is leaking and structural damage is occurring but if renovations can begin this year the structure can be saved,” Carver said in his funding request.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com, on Twitter @amandaburkec and

413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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