Hilltown Families


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.

Throughout western Massachusetts are many reminders of the past. From cellar holes to quarries, the region’s ruins speak volumes about its history. Families can explore old hotels, drowned towns, abandoned quarries, and old mill sites safely to learn about life in the past and to explore the ways in which nature can reclaim spaces.

Building a gingerbread house is a fantastic way to include creative folks of all ages in creating a delicious, well-engineered work of art, along with skills in architectural design, engineering, communication, and collaboration.

In addition to all of the opportunities for learning and potential to exercise creativity that gingerbread house creation offers, upcoming community events also offer participants the opportunity to collaborate and to support important community organizations. While some events simply provide space, materials, and an encouraging atmosphere, others bring teams together to participate in gingerbread building so as to support an important local cause, including Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Gingerbread Build!

Wherever your interest in gingerbread building may come from, participating in an upcoming community event is sure to provide fun, learning, and a delicious outlet for creativity!

Discover the complex story of Greenfield, a city stamped with impressive architecture, art history, diverse restaurants, community gardens, and an innovative eye to the future, during a day long tour, “Spring into Greenfield: A Trolley Ride Through our Town’s History and Architecture.” This enriching trip weaves together the many aspects of community crucial to the workings of a vibrant and progressive city, and will provide a unique lens into learning about a diverse, yet connect, series of interests!

What is “spirit of place?” Can you identify it in your backyard? How about in historic landscapes? UMass Amherst Libraries is hosting the traveling exhibition, “A Genius For Place,” this spring, featuring photographs of North American landscape designs from the “Country Place Era.” Take in the exhibit, learn about the history of the estates featured, and ask yourself questions about the spirit of these places, your place, and how it may influence landscape architecture to amplify natural elements.

Lenox Library’s 7th Annual Gingerbread House Competition: Storybook House Think of your favorite book. Now imagine the house that you think the characters from that book might have lived. Now, imagine that house is made out of gingerbread. You just designed an entry for the Lenox Library’s gingerbread house contest! This year’s theme is “Storybook House”- entries can be anything from a traditional gingerbread house a-la Hansel and Gretel to a delicious… Read More

Design Studies at Springfield Museums’ D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts with Beyond this Window: Paintings by Briana Taylor on view through Jan 8th, 2012 Paintings by local artist Briana Taylor are currently on display at the Springfield Museums’ D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  The subjects of Taylor’s paintings include everyday objects such as glass jars, marbles, and painted surfaces, and her work focuses on properties such as light/shadow, shape, form, and depth…. Read More

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