Pittsfield, Massachusetts: Wikis


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Pittsfield, Massachusetts
—  City  —
Downtown Pittsfield - Park Square

Location (dark red) in Berkshire County (light red) in Massachusetts (white).
Coordinates: 42°27′00″N 73°14′45″W / 42.45°N 73.24583°W / 42.45; -73.24583
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Berkshire
Settled 1752
Incorporated 1761
 - Type Mayor-council city
 - Mayor James M. Ruberto
 - Total 42.3 sq mi (109.6 km2)
 - Land 40.7 sq mi (105.5 km2)
 - Water 1.6 sq mi (4.1 km2)
Elevation 1,039 ft (317 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 42,931
 - Density 1,124.3/sq mi (434.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01201
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-53960
GNIS feature ID 0607643
Website www.pittsfield-ma.org

Pittsfield is the largest city in and the county seat of Berkshire County,[1] Massachusetts, United States. It is the principal city of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Berkshire County. Its area code is 413. Its ZIP code is 01201 (01202 and 01203 are ZIP codes for Pittsfield post office boxes only). The population was 45,793 at the 2000 census, and it continues to be one of the population centers of Western Massachusetts, although the population has declined in recent decades.

In 2005, Farmers Insurance ranked Pittsfield 20th in the United States as “Most Secure Place To Live” among small towns with fewer than 150,000 residents.[2] In 2006, Forbes ranked Pittsfield as number 61 in its list of Best Small Places for Business.[3] In 2008, Country Home Magazine ranked Pittsfield as #24 in a listing of "green cities" East of the Mississippi.[4] In 2009, the City of Pittsfield was chosen to receive a 2009 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts' highest award in the arts, humanities, and sciences.[5]



Algonquin couple in 1700s

Pittsfield and the surrounding area was originally inhabited by the Mohican (Muh-he-kann) Native American tribe, an Algonquian people, until the early 1700’s.

In 1738, a wealthy Bostonian, Col. Jacob Wendell, bought 24,000 acres of lands known originally as Pontoosuck, a Mohican Indian word meaning “a field or haven for winter deer,” as a speculative investment, which he planned to subdivide and resell to others who would settle here. He formed a partnership with Philip Livingston, a wealthy kinsman from Albany, and Col. John Stoddard of Northampton, who already had claim to 1,000 acres here.

A group of young men came and began to clear the land in 1743, but threats of Indian raids associated with the conflict of the French and Indian War soon forced them to leave, and the land remained unoccupied by whites for several more years.

In 1752, the first settlers arrived, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Deming, from Wethersfield, CT. Mrs. Deming was the first white female to come to town, and she was often left alone at night by her husband's travels, the surrounding wilderness filled with Native Americans.

Soon, many others arrived from Westfield, Massachusetts, and a village began to grow, which was incorporated as Pontoosuck Plantation in 1753 by Solomon Deming, Simeon Crofoot, Stephen Crofoot, Charles Goodrich, Jacob Ensign, Samuel Taylor, and Elias Woodward. Mrs. Deming was both the first and the last of the original settlers, and she died in March, 1818 at the age of 92. Solomon Deming died in 1815 at the age of 96.[6]

Pittsfield was officially incorporated in 1761. Royal Governor, Sir Francis Bernard named Pittsfield after British nobleman and politician William Pitt. By 1761 there were 200 residents and the plantation became the Township of Pittsfield.

By the end of the revolutionary war, Pittsfield had expanded to nearly 2,000 residents, including Colonel John Brown, who began accusing Benedict Arnold as a traitor in 1776, several years before Arnold defected to the British. Brown wrote in his winter 1776-77 handbill "Money is this man's God, and to get enough of it he would sacrifice his country".[7]

While primarily an agricultural area, because of the many brooks that flowed into the Housatonic River, the landscape was dotted with mills that produced lumber, grist, paper and textiles. With the introduction of Merino sheep from Spain in 1807, the area became the center of woolen manufacturing in the United States, an industry that would dominate the community’s employment opportunities for almost a century.

View of Park Square in c. 1855

The town was a bustling metropolis by the late 19th century. In 1891, the City of Pittsfield was incorporated, and William Stanley, who had recently relocated his Electric Manufacturing Company to Pittsfield from Great Barrington, produced the first electric transformer. Stanley’s enterprise was the forerunner of the internationally known corporate giant, General Electric (GE). Thanks to the success of GE, Pittsfield’s population in 1930 had grown to more than 50,000. While GE Advanced Materials (now owned by SABIC-Innovative Plastics) continues to be one of the City’s largest employers, a workforce that once topped 13,000 was reduced to less than 700 with the demise and/or relocation of the transformer and aerospace portions of the General Electric empire.

1902 Presidential visit

On September 3, 1902 at 10:15 AM, during a two-week tour through New England campaigning for Republican congressmen, the barouche transporting President Theodore Roosevelt from downtown Pittsfield to the Pittsfield Country Club (see historic photos above) collided head-on with a trolley. Roosevelt, Massachusetts Governor Winthrop Murray Crane, secretary to the president George Bruce Cortelyou, and bodyguard William Craig were thrown into the street. Craig was killed; he was the first Secret Service agent killed while on a presidential protection detail. Roosevelt, whose face and left shin were badly bruised, nearly came to blows with the trolley motorman, Euclid Madden. Madden was later charged with manslaughter, to which he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to six months in jail and a heavy fine.

Baseball in Pittsfield

Wahconah Park (built in 1919)

In 2004, historian John Thorn discovered a reference to a 1791 by-law prohibiting anyone from playing "baseball" within 80 yards (73 m) of the new meeting house in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A librarian found the actual by-law in the Berkshire Athenaeum library, and its age was verified by researchers at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. If authentic and if actually referring to a recognizable version of the modern game, the 1791 document, would be, as of 2004, the earliest known reference to the game in America. See, Origins of baseball. The city has “reprinted” the by-law with auxiliary documents.[8]

The so-called Broken Window By-Law is the earliest known reference to “baseball” in North America. A finding that baseball was invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown provided the rationale for baseball centennial celebrations in 1939, including the opening of a National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in that city. But few historians ever believed it and even the Hall's vice president, Jeff Idelson, has stated that “Baseball wasn't really born anywhere.”[9]

In 1859, the first intercollegiate baseball game was played in Pittsfield, MA. Amherst defeated Williams College 73-32.[10]

Professional baseball was played in Pittsfield's Wahconah Park from 1919 through 2003. From 1989 to 2001, the Pittsfield Mets and Pittsfield Astros (2001 only) represented the city in the New York - Penn League. The Astros have since moved to Troy, New York and are now known as the Tri-City ValleyCats.

In 2005, Wahconah Park became the home stadium of the Pittsfield Dukes, a summer collegiate baseball franchise of the New England Collegiate Baseball League owned by Dan Duquette, former Boston Red Sox general manager. The Dukes had played the 2004 season in Hinsdale, Massachusetts as the Berkshire Dukes. In 2009, the franchise changed its name to the Pittsfield American Defenders. The American Defenders name refers to both the United States Military and a line of baseball gloves produced by Nocona Athletic Goods Company. Duqette's ownership group also owns the American Defenders of New Hampshire, members of the independent Can-Am League.

Ulysses Frank Grant, born August 1, 1865 in Pittsfield, MA (died May 27, 1937), was an African American baseball player in the 19th century, who played in the International League and for various independent teams. He is widely considered to have been the greatest African-American player of the 19th century.

Ulysses Frank Grant

Arienti, Stephen 'Nails McGee,' born July 4, 1880, died December 24, 1945. A Major League Baseball player. He made his major league debut for the Brooklyn Superbas on May 15, 1900, and hit a home run in his first at bat. Nails McGee was known for his temper, and developed a reputation as being one of baseball's first hot heads. This resulted in his being hit with several bean balls, ultimately leading to a career ending concussion. Arienti died in his hometown of Pittsfield Mass, in 1945, and is buried in St. Joseph's cemetery.

Ferry, Alfred Joseph 'Cy', born September 27, 1878, died September 27, 1938. A Major League Baseball Player. He made his major league debut on May 12, 1904, and played his final game on August 4, 1905. Ferry played for the Detroit Tigers in 1904, and the Cleveland Naps in 1905. He died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1938, and is buried there.

Ferry, John Francis 'Jack', born April 7, 1887 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A Major League Baseball Player. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1910, and played his final game on June 7, 1913. Ferry played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1910 to 1913. He died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, August 29, 1954.

Mark Belanger, Golden Glove shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, Turk Wendell, relief pitcher for the New York Mets, and Tom Grieve, Outfielder for the Texas Rangers were all from Pittsfield.


Berry Pond (2150 ft above sea level)

Pittsfield is located at 42°27′8″N 73°15′6″W / 42.45222°N 73.25167°W / 42.45222; -73.25167 (42.452184, -73.251530).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.3 square miles (109.6 km²), of which, 40.7 square miles (105.5 km²) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²) of it (3.76%) is water. Pittsfield is bordered by Lanesborough to the north, Dalton to the east, Washington to the southeast, Lenox to the south, Richmond to the southwest, and Hancock to the west. Pittsfield is located 48 miles (77 km) northwest of Springfield and 135 miles (217 km) west of Boston.

Most of the population occupies roughly one quarter of the city's land. Pittsfield lies at the fork of the east and west branches of the Housatonic River, which heads southward from the city towards Long Island Sound. The eastern branch leads down from the hills, while the western branch is fed from Onota Lake and Pontoosuc Lake (which is on the Lanesborough town line). Like much of western Berkshire County, the city lies between the Berkshire Hills to the east, and the Taconic Range to the west. Sections of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area also dot the banks of the river.

To the west of the city also lies Pittsfield State Forest, a 65-acre (260,000 m2) park with hiking and cross-country skiing trails, camping, picnic areas, and a swimming beach. Berry Pond, located in the Pittsfield State Forest, is the highest body of water in Massachusetts (2150 feet above sea level).[12]

Pittsfield is located at the crossroads of U.S. Route 7 and U.S. Route 20 which join together in the city. Route 8 passes through the northeast corner of town, with a portion of it combined with Route 9, the central east-west road through the western part of the state, whose western terminus is in the city at Route 7. Route 41 also begins in the southwest corner of town, heading south from Route 20. The nearest interstate, Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) is located about 10 miles (16 km) south in Lee.

Aerial View of Downtown Pittsfield Looking East

Long-distance ground transportation in Pittsfield is based at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center which serves as the station for Amtrak trains and Peter Pan buses. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA), the transit provider for Pittsfield and vicinity, is based at the Intermodal Center and also uses it as a hub for most of its lines. Rail freight transportation is provided by CSX Transportation and the Housatonic Railroad.

The FBO located at Pittsfield Municipal Airport offers access to the region via private and chartered aircraft ranging from single engine piston to multi-engine jet. They also offer scenic rides and flight training. The nearest airport with national service is Albany International Airport.

The Housatonic River

Background and historical overview

Housatonic River circa 1917
Stanley Electric Company circa early 1900s

A historically rural area,[13] the Housatonic River attracted increased industrialization in the late 1800s. William Stanley, Jr. founded the Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company in 1890 at Pittsfield. The company manufactured small transformers, electrical motors and appliances. In 1903, GE acquired Stanley Electric, and subsequently operated three major manufacturing operations in Pittsfield: transformer, ordnance, and plastics.[14]

Environmental Issues

The Housatonic River and its floodplain are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances released from the General Electric Company (GE) facility located in Pittsfield. The contaminated area, known as the General Electric/Housatonic River Site, includes the GE manufacturing facility; the Housatonic River, its riverbanks and floodplains from Pittsfield to Long Island Sound, and former river oxbows that have been filled; Allendale School; Silver Lake; and other areas contaminated as a result of GE’s operations in Pittsfield.[15]

Consent decree and cleanup

Starting in 1991, legal proceedings by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the General Electric/Housatonic River Site. Initial cleanup work began in 1996 when EPA issued a unilateral order to GE that required the removal of highly contaminated sediments and bank soils. EPA added the site to the Superfund list in September 1997.

The year 1999 was a milestone for Pittsfield, when negotiations between EPA, the state, General Electric and the City resulted in a settlement agreement – valued at over $250 million – to clean up Pittsfield and the Housatonic River. The settlement was memorialized in a Consent Decree that was entered in federal court the following year, making it a binding legal agreement.[16]

Groundwater and long-term monitoring

In the years since the settlement was reached, the EPA, state agencies, the City and GE accomplished one of the largest and most complex cleanups in the country, while meeting the underlying objectives of the settlement: remediation, revitalization, and restoration. Clean up work on the first previously PCB-laden ½ mile of the Housatonic River, adjacent to the GE facility was completed in September 2002.[15] Progress was made on the 1½ Mile Reach between Lyman Street and Fred Garner Park. The EPA overcame engineering challenges, allowing this $90 million portion of the EPA cleanup to be ahead of schedule and completed by June 2007. Biological and sediment samples showed reductions of approximately 99% of PCB concentrations compared to pre-remediation conditions.[15] GE removed contaminated soil and restored 27 residential properties abutting the river. To date, more than 115,000 cubic yards (88,000 m3) of PCB-contaminated sediment, bank, and floodplain soil have been removed from the river, and residential property.[17]


As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 45,793 people, 19,704 households, and 11,822 families residing in the city. Pittsfield is the largest city by population in Berkshire County, and ranks 27th out of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 1,124.3 people per square mile (434.1/km²), making it the most densely populated community in county and 92nd overall in the Commonwealth. There were 21,366 housing units at an average density of 524.6/sq mi (202.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.58% White, 3.66% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.04% of the population.

There were 19,704 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,655, and the median income for a family was $46,228. Males had a median income of $35,538 versus $26,341 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,549. About 8.9% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Population trends

Historic Pittsfield home
Population of Pittsfield
Year Population % Change
1900 21,766
1910 32,121 +48%
1920 42,751 +33%
1930 49,677 +16%
1940 49,684 +0%
1950 53,348 +7%
1960 57,879 +8%
1970 57,020 -1%
1980 51,974 -9%
1990 48,622 -6%
2000 45,793 -6%
2002 45,023 (estimate)
2010 42,199 (estimate)
2020 39,115 (estimate)

Sources: Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research and U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division


Pittsfield City Hall

Pittsfield employs the mayor-council form of government. The current mayor is James M. Ruberto, who was elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2005, 2007, and 2009. The city is fully functioning, with all the major public services, including Berkshire Medical Center and the region's only VA medical clinic. The city's library, the Berkshire Athenaeum, is one of the largest in western Massachusetts, and is connected to the regional library system. Pittsfield is also the county seat of Berkshire County, and as such has many state facilities for the county.

On the state level, Pittsfield has three representatives to the Massachusetts House of Representatives: the Second Berkshire, which serves most of central Berkshire County as well as portions of Hampshire County and Franklin County; the Third Berkshire, which covers most of the city proper; and the Fourth Berkshire, which covers southern Berkshire County as well as Chester, Blandford and Tolland in Hampden County. In the Massachusetts Senate, the city is represented by the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes all of Berkshire County and western Hampshire and Franklin Counties.[19] The city is patrolled by the Fourth (Cheshire) Station of Barracks "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.[20]

On the national level, Pittsfield is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by John Olver of Amherst since June 1991. Massachusetts is currently represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator John Kerry and interim junior senator Paul Kirk.[21] A special election is scheduled to be held on January 19, 2010 to fill the Class 1 seat currently held by Kirk.[22]


Pittsfield High School, East Street, originally Longfellow Estate

Pittsfield operates a public school system which currently has over 6,000 students. There are eight elementary schools (Allendale, Robert T. Capeless, Crosby, Egremont, Morningside, Silvio O. Conte, Stearns and Williams), two middle schools (Theodore Herberg and John T. Reid), and two high schools (Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School). The high schools both offer internal vocational programs. Students also come to the high schools from neighboring Richmond. Additionally, there are two parochial schools (Saint Mark's for elementary and middle school students, and St. Joseph Central High School for high school students) and one private school, Miss Hall's School, as well as an alternative school.

Pittsfield is the home to the main campus of Berkshire Community College and Mildred Elley's Pittsfield, MA Campus. The nearest state colleges are Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and Westfield State College, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private colleges are Williams College in Williamstown and Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington.

Points of interest


Pittsfield is the geographic and commercial hub of the Berkshires—a historic area that includes Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and author Edith Wharton's estate The Mount.

Downtown Pittsfield is home to the gilded-age Colonial Theatre, the Berkshire Museum, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Athenaeum, Wahconah Park and Hebert Arboretum. In recent years, the city has undergone a transformation downtown with significant investment in the downtown, including new restaurants, condominium and other residential developments and cultural attractions.

Colonial Theater circa 1918

The Colonial Theatre, dating from 1903, was named by Hillary Clinton as a National Historic Treasure in 1998. The community invested more than $22 million to refurbish the 100-year old Colonial Theatre, one of the only theaters of its kind from the Vaudeville age and has been described as the "one of the finest acoustical theaters in the world."

Barrington Stage Company, the Tony Award-winning producer of "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" invested millions into its newly-renovated stage in downtown Pittsfield, along with the development of other stages within the downtown for smaller performances. Barrington Stage's renowned head of its Musical Theatre Lab, William Finn, told the Boston Globe that he is determined to make Pittsfield the "epicenter of the musical theater universe."

The Berkshire Museum, the oldest and most diverse museum in the Berkshires, recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that incorporated a state-of-the-art air control system that will allow it to attract world-class exhibits, which will make the institution an even greater draw.

Berkshire Museum circa 1911

Many of the Berkshires' oldest homes, dating to the mid-18th century, can be found in Pittsfield, as well as many historic neighborhoods dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[23]

Wendell Avenue circa early 1900s

Several small multi-generational farms can still be found in Pittsfield, though suburban sprawl and land development have recently claimed some of this land.

Additional Cultural Attractions:


Pittsfield has several country clubs, including the Pontoosuc Lake Country Club. Pittsfield is also home to the Berkshire Rowing and Sculling Society, located on Onota Lake.

Pontoosuc Lake - Recreation in the 1950s
Onota Lake - circa 1910

Pittsfield is home to Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, 264 acres (1.1 km²) of woods, fields, and wetlands maintained by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Bousquet Ski Area and Summer Resort entertains visitors and residents year-round with skiing, water slides, go-karts, and other fun activities.

Pittsfield State Forest, a 65-acre (260,000 m2) park provides residents and tourist with hiking and cross-country skiing trails, camping, picnic areas, and a swimming beach.[12]

The Berkshire Bike Path Council is presently working with the City of Pittsfield and local residents to extend the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, a popular 10.8 mile (17.6 km) paved trail located just North of Pittsfield through Pittsfield to Great Barrington, south of Pittsfield and Lenox.

Topless sunbathing at Onota Lake?

Onota Lake Bathing Beach - Recreation in the early 1900s

Recently, a city woman, Katherine Gundelfinger, filed a petition with the City Council requesting that a portion of Burbank Park’s frontage on Onota Lake be designated as an area that would allow both women and men to sunbathe without bathing suit tops.[24][25] If successful, Pittsfield could join the topfreedom movement of cities like Miami Beach, Florida and Boulder, Colorado,[26] that allow toplessness for both men and women.

A petition containing the names of 50 city residents backing the proposal for top-free sunbathing on Onota Lake for both men and women was submitted and gained public supporters, including Alan Chartock, president of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.[27]

According to City Council President Gerald M. Lee, councilors voted down the petition, 9-2, because it raised two separate questions, making it an invalid petition.

City Councilor Anthony Maffuccio, who voted down the initial petition, said, "She's looking for equal rights for women, and she can still file with the Parks Commission and see what they tell her."[28]

The current City Code appears to allow "topfree equality" under anti-discrimination laws:

"It is the policy of the City of Pittsfield to see that each individual, regardless of his race, color, religious creed, marital status, handicap, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, or source of income, shall have equal opportunity in or access to employment, housing, education, recreation and public accommodations; to assure that each individual shall have equal access to and benefit from all public services; to protect each individual in the enjoyment of his civil rights; and to encourage and bring about mutual understanding and respect among all individuals in the City by the elimination of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and the disorder occasioned thereby.

(Ord. No. 666,§ 1, 10-29-1990; Ord. No. 702,§ 1, 4-29-1992)"[29]

Supporters apparently plan to continue to their efforts to sunbathe without fear of harassment or legal prosecution, citing legal precedents.[30] In 1991 in Canada, Gwen Jacob was arrested for walking down a street in Guelph, Ontario while topless. She was acquitted in 1996 by the highest court in Ontario. A similar case had arisen for the Rochester Topfree Seven, charged in 1986 in Rochester, New York but acquitted in 1992 under equal rights laws.[31]


Newspapers and Magazines

  • The Berkshire Eagle, the main daily newspaper for the Pittsfield area
  • The Pittsfield Gazette, a weekly newspaper devoted to local news, viewpoints, investigative journalism, and city politics
  • The Advocate, a weekly newspaper devoted to the Berkshires and nearby Bennington County
  • Berkshire Living, 9 issues per year, winner of two national magazine awards, devoted to Berkshire Living


Pittsfield is located in the Albany television market and is the community of license for two stations in that market, My Network TV affiliate WNYA, and a low power TV station, W28DA, which rebroadcasts WNYT on channel 13 from a location on South Mountain in the city. Springfield stations also serve the market with three (WWLP-NBC, WSHM-LP-CBS, WGBY-PBS) on cable. WGGB has never been carried on the cable system in Pittsfield, but is viewable over the air in some sections. Also carried on cable, but not necessarily serving Pittsfield, is Boston's WCVB (ABC).

Cable television subscribers of TimeWarner Cable in the City of Pittsfield receive Public, Education and Government access channels (PEG Access), provided by Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV), on channels 16, 17 and 18:

  • Access Pittsfield, channel 16, Public Access
  • Pittsfield ETV, channel 17, Education Access
  • Citylink, channel 18, Government Access

Pittsfield Community Television is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization and a member of the Alliance for Community Media. Programming on PCTV is available 24 hours per day, year-long, and is available online at www.pittsfieldtv.org.


Pittsfield is home to (or obtains strong signals from) the following radio stations:

Signals from Albany, New York and Springfield, Massachusetts also reach Pittsfield as well as some signals from Hartford, Connecticut and even Boston depending on location.

One of Pittsfield's oldest radio stations, WBEC-FM 105.5, was sold and relocated to Mount Tom in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where it became a Springfield radio station (technically licensed to Easthampton). It relays Boston's WEEI. The move changed over two decades of programming on the Pittsfield dial which moved WBEC-FM as a TOP40 station on 105.5 down to 95.9, WUPE (as oldies) up to 100.1 in North Adams, replacing the Beautiful/EZ format on 100.1 known as WMNB. Recently WBEC 95.9 changed from a HOT AC to an Adult Contemporary format, which was on 95.9 prior to the changes, as "Lite 95.9 WUPE", a mostly satellite driven format.


Pittsfield is home to several businesses, including:

  • SABIC-Innovative Plastics (formerly known as General Electric (Plastics/Advanced Materials Division)).
  • Chemex Corporation.
  • General Systems.
  • Blue-Q - A design and gift manufacturer owned by two Pittsfield natives.
  • Laurin Publishing, publisher of an international photonics-industry directory, as well as several related periodicals.
  • Thaddeus Clapp House, a historic bed and breakfast inn.
  • General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.
  • Interprint Incorporated - Located on the Pittsfield, Richmond line.
  • New England Acupuncture and Herb Clinic.
  • WorkshopLive, an online music education company specializing in guitar, bass, and keyboard lessons.
  • The Moscow Ballet, national touring dance company and producer of the Great Russian Nutcracker.
  • Berkshire Gas, provides natural gas services to more than 36,000 customers in western Massachusetts.
  • Mad Macs LLC, Apple Authorized Service Center. Formerly the site of *KB Toys - World Headquarters.
  • Mission Bar and Tapas, a successful bar on North Street that sells several Spanish wines, appetizer-sized dishes called tapas, and several beers on draft.

Notable residents

Sister cities

Pittsfield has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Historic Photo Gallery

Many of the following scenes can still be seen today:

  • Public Domain Postcards


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  2. ^ "Second Annual Farmers Insurance Study Ranks Most Secure U.S. Places to Live; Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, Wash., Rated Number One". Business Wire. June 7, 2005. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2005_June_7/ai_n13800528/pg_1. Retrieved 2009-02-06.  
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  4. ^ "Top 25 Green Cities East of the Mississippi". Country Home Magazine. 2008. http://www.countryhome.com. Retrieved 2009-05-18.  
  5. ^ "Pittsfield MA, Statewide Creative Community Award". www.pittsfield-ma.org. 2009. http://www.pittsfield-ma.org/Detail.asp?sid=377. Retrieved 2009-05-14.  
  6. ^ "Central Part of Pittsfield, Massachusetts". Rural Repository - A Semi-Monthly Journal Embellished with Engravings - One Dollar a Year - Hudson NY. August 31, 1844. http://cgi.ebay.com/1844-illustr-newspaper-w-view-PITTSFIELD-Massachusetts_W0QQitemZ270391380658QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAntiquarian_Collectible?hash=item3ef4950ab2&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50. Retrieved 2009-05-14.  
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