Repurposed Old Notre Dame Church Breathes New Life To Pittsfield, MA
The old Notre Dame Church on 40 Melville St., Pittsfield MA has become the unlikely agent of economic renewal in the city of Pittsfield, supporting a whole menu of local businesses and startups while being a great venue for different events.
The transformation from religious to secular space all started when textile artists Crispina French and tree pruner and remover Chris Swindlehurst bought the magnificent church and the adjacent rectory from the diocese of Springfield in 2006.
Since then, the church has undergone renovations and retrofitting to house a so-called gym for builders where different craftspeople can create and showcase their art, although a change of name to Shire City Sanctuary makes it rather mysterious at first.
What is inside the Shire City Sanctuary? You will find four spaces that you can rent on a monthly or daily basis. These spaces are The Gallery, The Makerspace, The Kitchen, and The Nave.
The Gallery is where artists can showcase their arts and crafts. The MAkerspace is a workshop where you woodworking workshops are regularly held. The Kitchen, on the other hand, features a commercial kitchen that can be used for to host cooking lessons, or to cook for an event that may be held in The Nave.
The Sanctuary currently houses a fully-equipped cyber office, events space, meeting place, studios, tech labs, sewing labs and screen printing shop, which anyone can access 24/7 with a day pass or monthly membership. The possibilities on what you can do inside this repurposed space are endless. The best thing about it is that the rates are totally affordable.
The management regularly hosts timber framing workshops, silkscreen printing, and sewing workshops. It also hosts monthly bingo events. If you have an event that you want to host in the Sanctuary, feel free to call the staff for more information. You can also book right on http://shirecitysanctuary.com/spaces/. Just click the Learn More and Book here button found beneath each featured space.
But let us not forget that because it was a church before, you can actually host your wedding there, no matter if you are a Catholic or not. The Sanctuary has retained its glass-stained look and so you really can’t go wrong if you want to impress your guests by hosting your wedding and the accompanying reception there.