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 building at 90 Carew Street in Springfield, dedicated on December 13, 1885, was initially called the Carew Street Chapel, begun by Springfield’s First Baptist Church. The Chapel was renamed the Carew Street Church in 1887 and the building was enlarged in 1890. Damaged in a fire on the evening of January 3, 1905, the church was rebuilt within a year. The Baptist congregation left the building c. 1949. In 1961 it became the home of the Gardner Memorial AME Zion Church, but since 2000 the building has been vacant and for sale.
The Florence Congregational Church, at 130 Pine Street in Northampton, was constructed starting in 1861. The village of Florence was developing as an industrial area at the time. Before the church was built, residents had to make the Sunday trip to Northampton to attend church services. The Florence Church had its beginnings in 1857 as a fair weather outdoor Sunday school for the First Church of Northampton. The church has a Stick style Parish House designed by William Fenno Pratt.
St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church was the city of Holyoke’s first Catholic church. Holyoke Catholics were first organized in 1856 and the church, located at 181 Hampden Street, was built in 1858-1860. The church was designed by prominent church architect Patrick Keely. A fire in 1934 destroyed everything but the church’s brick walls. The building was rebuilt to plans by John W. Donahue of Springfield. A chapel was added to the rear of the church, plans starting in 1939. Read More
The first Congregational meeting house in Harvard was erected in 1733. This was replaced by a newer and larger structure completed in 1774. A steeple was added in 1786 and a bell was acquired in 1806. The congregation split in 1821, with the more conservative Trinitarians leaving to form the Evangelical Congregational Church. The large old meeting house, which had fallen into disrepair, was replaced with a smaller building in 1840. This was destroyed by fire in 1875 and a fourth meeting house, designed in the Queen Anne style, was soon built. This church was also destroyed by a fire, on December 13th, 1964, after a Sunday service. The current Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, at 9 Ayer Road, was dedicated on June 18th, 1967.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, at 29 Main Street in Stockbridge, was founded in 1834 and in the 1840s a church was erected to designs by Richard Upjohn. The present stone church was built in 1884 of Berkshire limestone. It was designed by Charles F. McKim, who donated his services, and contains stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge. The church was a gift of Charles Butler in memory of his wife, Susan Ridley Sedgwick Butler. Stockbridge residents Norman Rockwell and Daniel Chester French were parishioners of St. Paul’s.