Guided Tours for Learning about Architecture & Local History in Western MA

Guided Tours for Learning about Architecture and Local History

Take a tour of the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield during the annual Housatonic Heritage Walks on Sept 24. Hear the story and history behind this historic theatre and movie house from the guilded age.

Buildings are designed with both form and function in mind, therefore, architecture can teach us about artistic, as well as practical trends. Changes in architectural styles of homes can reflect changes in lifestyle. Similarly, some historic structures fall out of use due to changes in economics and industrial trends. Architectural learning can also support placemaking as individuals gain a greater understanding of how their communities have developed over time. Several upcoming events in September and October will provide opportunities for individuals and families to learn about history through the lens of architectural structures. 


Saturday, August 27, September 10, and September 24, at 12pm and 1pm
Come to Field Farm to see mid-20th century sculptures and tour the guest houses. You will have the chance to view and compare the award-winning Folly guest house (post-modernist) and the American modern style guest house. For information call the Trustees at 413 458-3135. 554 Sloan Road. Williamstown, MA. (Non members <$; Members FREE)

Take a tour of an authentic 18th-centuray New England village with beautiful examples of period architecture at Historic Deerfield with a museum interpreter. Also offered is a map for self-guided walking tours that integrate Colonial architecture with an interest in local history. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($-Free)


Springfield Museums offer ongoing guided walking tours of downtown Springfield on the second Saturday of the month. Join local historians and neighborhood experts for enlightening strolls through the downtown area. Learn to read buildings and their history through architectural features and renovations.  Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA (>$)


Thursday, September 8, Thursday, September 15, and September 29 at 2pm
The Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The museum offers the opportunity to learn about art history as well as biographical information on Rockwell himself. During this program for self-directed teens and lifelong learners, visitors are invited to explore the entire campus, learn about the historic buildings onsite, and enjoy the museum’s outdoor exhibition inspired by Rockwell’s first Saturday Evening Post cover. The program is free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 FREE)


This September and October, Housatonic Heritage Walks will be offering several opportunities to learn about local history, natural history, infrastructure, architecture, ecology, and more! These Annual Housatonic Heritage Walks in the Berkshires (MA) and Litchfield County (CT) take place during three weekends: September 17-18, 24-25 and October 1-2. These family-friendly events get people outdoors and moving while they learn. Several of the walks involve architectural learning. Tour historic structures such as old mill sites, churches, meetinghouses, house museums, and more! Visit the Housatonic Heritage website for more information. Registration is required. Email or call 413-637-0320. Lenox and Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


Stringcourse, portico, crocket, gingerbread… curious as to what these architectural terms mean? Visit Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center web site and peruse their architectural glossary to learn about different architectural terms that can be scouted out in the region. Then take a virtual tour of the 4 Northampton quadrants.

Another virtual tour includes the Academy of Music in Northampton, an example of Neo-Classical architecture. Click here to take a virtual tour, and contact the theater to inquire about any upcoming tours.


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