Category Archives: Stockbridge

Congregational Church of Interlaken (1827)

Congregational Church of Interlaken

In 1824 plans were made to build a new meeting house by the Stockbridge Congregational Church. The location of the building was a point of contention between members of the congregation. Although it was eventually built near the site of the community’s first meeting house, church members living in the north section of town, known as Curtisville (named for the mill complex erected by Stephen Curtis), felt that the distance was too far to travel. In 1825, after much debate, it was decided to let a new Congregational Society be formed in Curtisville. The North Congregational Society met in the Red School House on Larrywaug Crossroads until its own church, also on Larrywaug Crossroad, was dedicated on January 10, 1827. The building was used until 1834 when it was taken down and and rebuilt at its present site at 6 Willard Hill Road. Curtisville later became known as Interlaken and the church as the Congregational Church of Interlaken A brick edifice, it was in use as a church until 2002, when declining membership led to the congregation’s sale of the building. It was converted into the second home of a New York architect.

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Old Town Office Building, Stockbridge (1884)

Town Offices

As related in my previous post, the Town of Stockbridge constructed a new town hall/office building in 1884 at 34 Main Street, but continued to own its previous Town Hall building of 1839, which it returned to and enlarged in 1903. The 1884 building, which displays the words “Town Offices” with the date 1884 A.D., was constructed in the Flemish Revival style. Designed to be fireproof, it contained offices for the Selectmen, Assessor and Town Clerk on the first floor and storage space on the second floor. The basement had two jail cells. The town sold the building in the 1960s and it has since been used as commercial space.

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Stockbridge Town Hall (1839)

Stockbridge Town Hall

In 1839, the Town of Stockbridge built a Greek Revival-style Town Hall building on land owned by the Congregational Church with the stipulation that the property would revert to the church if the town moved out of the building. In 1884, the town did build a new Town Hall at 34 Main Street, but called it “Town Offices” in order to retain the 1839 building. In 1903, the town moved back to the original building, but enlarged it: the original section was rotated ninety degrees and joined to a new Neoclassical front section, designed by architect Harry E. Weeks of Pittsfield. In 2008, the town moved out of the 1839/1903 building (6 Main Street) and relocated to a former school building at the other end of Main Street.

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Clarke/Benjamin Block (1884)

Clarke/Benjamin Block

The Clarke Block in Stockbridge was built in 1884 by druggist William B. Clarke. It replaced an earlier drug store that had stood in front of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. When the old store burned down, the area where it stood was converted into a front yard for the church. Clarke built his new store on a lot east of the church. In addition to the store, the building housed the town’s post office. The building was later called the Benjamin Block for Eugene Benjamin, who ran the store and lived next door. In 1923, he moved the building to its present location, at 31 Main Street. It was soon after stuccoed and remodeled in the Colonial Revival style. Its original roof and many of its stylistic features, such as a Stick Style gable screen, modillions, and a hooded stained glass window, were replaced. Retained from the earlier facade are the angled second floor front bay windows and a stained glass segmental-arched window on the west side.

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Sedgwick Little House (1898)

Sedgwick Little House

At 18 Main Street in Stockbridge is a house known as the “Sedgwick Little House” or the Erik Erikson House. Its earliest section was originally a large cottage built c. 1855 (other dates claimed for the house are 1850 and the 1870s). In 1896, the property was acquired by Henry Dwight Sedgwick III, prominent Stockbridge resident and one of the well-known Sedgwick family. The Sedgwick Pie in Stockbridge Cemetery is the famous burial place of the Sedgwick family. In 1898, Henry D. Sedgwick built “the Sedgwick Little House” (the central section of the current Colonial Revival mansion) for his son Alexander (1867-1929). This seems to have replaced the original cottage (?). The house was later expanded through additions made between 1898 and 1908. The east and west wings were added by Edward L. Morse, who bought the house in 1908. Later, the house was purchased by the well-known writer and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, who was working at the Austin Riggs Center at the time. The house is now a bed & breakfast called the Taggart House.

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Butler House/Swann Cottage (1894)

Butler House/Swan Cottage (1894)

At 25 Main Street in Stockbridge is a mansion built in 1894 for Charles E. Butler (1818-1897). It was designed by Robert S. Stephenson and Stanford White. After 1904, it was known as “Swann Cottage” and was home to Mrs. John Butler Swann. Later an inn, the house was acquired by the Austin Riggs Center in the 1950s (it is now the Center‘s Medical Office Building). The wings were added for medical offices and the building was painted white in 1957.

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Brown Caldwell House (1890)

Brown Caldwell House (1890)

Built circa 1890 and designed by Delano & Aldrich, the Brown Caldwell House is located at 23 Main Street in Stockbridge. In 1930, the house was sold to the Austin Riggs Center. In 1907, while recuperating from tuberculosis in Stockbridge, New York internist Dr. Austen Fox Riggs began to expand his interest in psychiatry and psychology, developing a new and innovative treatment program. He founded The Stockbridge Institute for the Study and Treatment of the Psychoneuroses, which was incorporated in 1919 as the Austen Riggs Foundation. The house was remodeled (its pedimented portico was removed) to become Foundation Inn, one of several historic buildings that comprise the campus of the Austin Riggs Center.

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