August 3, 2009

A dream house

In the late 1960s I dreamed about buying this building, now the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. It was for sale for $14,000.

As a young reporter at The Berkshire Eagle I passed it every day going from the paper to City Hall. Pittsfield government was my beat.

The gallery space (top photo) would have been our living room. Babbie could have gardens up on the roof, which has a view of Mount Greylock.

The price seemed reasonable - if you didn't think about fixing it up and heating it.

The location was a stumbling block. It was in a business and institutional section off the main drag. There were no residential neighbors.

And we had three little kids. They wouldn't have anyone to play with. And who would we borrow a cup of sugar from?

Eventually it was bought by Kitty Lichtenstein, who spent a bundle restoring it. Later she turned it over to the city where it is the domain of Megan Whilden, the city's cultural director and a driving force in the revitalization of Pittsfield's moribund downtown.

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