The building of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, located at 376 North Street in Pittsfield, was begun in 1864 and the church was consecrated in 1866. It replaced an earlier church, built on what is now Melville Street in 1844. The 1866 North Street church‘s architect was P. C. Keely and the builder was Patrick Treanor of Boston.
When Pittsfield was established in 1761 the community’s first meetinghouse was also erected (the church was organized in 1764). Intended as a temporary structure, it was eventually replaced in 1793 by a new and architecturally significant church building designed by Charles Bulfinch. After that church suffered damage in an 1851 fire it was removed to the Maplewood Young Ladies Institute, where it later served as a gymnasium (it was torn down in 1939). A new First Congregational Church, the third on the site at 27 East Street, was built in 1853. The new church was designed by Leopold Eidlitz and has an 1870 chapel designed by local architect Charles Rathbun and an 1882 Tiffany stained glass memorial window. Today the church is known as First Church on Park Square.
The Mystic Lodge of Masons was established in 1810 in Lanesborough. The Lodge acquired land at 116 South Street in Pittsfield for a Masonic Temple in 1912. The building, designed by Joseph McArthur Vance of Pittsfield, had its cornerstone laid on October 10, 1912. The building was dedicated on May 2, 1914. Members of the Mystic Lodge formed the Crescent Lodge in 1873. A third Lodge, the Pittsfield Lodge, was constituted in 1921. These two merged in 1990 to form the Crescent-Pittsfield Lodge. This Lodge merged with the Pittsfield Lodge to form the New Moon Lodge on December 1, 2015. The Masons have owned and maintained the building for over a century, but in 2015 the Pittsfield Masonic Association put the building up for sale.
The Wollison-Shipton Building, at 146-156 North Street in Pittsfield, was constructed of Philadelphia pressed brick, with cast iron detailing and plate glass windows and skylights for each of the four stores on the first floor. The second floor of the building contained the Y.M.C.A. and offices, the third floor more offices and the top floor had a photography gallery. The building‘s architect was H. Neil Wilson and the builder was builder was D.C. Munyan, who constructed a number of notable buildings in town.
The commercial building at 4-8 Bank Row at the corner of South Street in Pittsfield has been much altered over the years. It was built around 1820 by William G. Backus, who ran a stove and plumber’s supply store for over half-a-century. Originally three separate buildings fronting South Street, it was later altered to have a unified front and a third story. Herman Melville lived in a house on South Street behind the Backus Block in 1862-1863 after moving from Arrowhead.