Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2006 Preservation Award Winners
Sandisfield Arts Center - Sandisfield
Sandisfield Arts Center - Sandisfield, MA

Category: Adaptive Reuse

This 1839 Greek Revival Baptist Meetinghouse is a rare survivor of its kind in Western Massachusetts. Its history as a meetinghouse, then an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, and now a thriving community arts center, reflects the transformation of a small Berkshire community in the 19th and 20th centuries. By the 1990s, the building had severely deteriorated and local residents formed the Sandisfield Arts & Restoration Committee to find a solution.

The basic form of the rural New England meetinghouse remains, as have the modifications made in the 1920s to accommodate the needs of the Orthodox Jewish congregation. Preserving the character defining features of the building proved to be one of the most important aspects of the project. The restoration work included repair of the original granite foundation and the doors. The renovated lower level is used for art exhibits, performances, and even yoga classes.

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