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Overview

Introduction to Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in Berkshire county, is 29 miles SE of Albany, New York (center to center) and 111 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts. It's situated at the fork of the west and east branches of the Housatonic River and is bordered by the Berkshire Hills and the Taconic Range. The city is regarded as one of the primary population centers located in Western Massachusetts. GE Advanced Materials, Chemex Corporation, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Laurin Publishing and General Systems are some of the major employers.

Pittsfield History

The area was settled in 1752 and incorporated in 1761. It was named in tribute to William Pitt, a British nobleman and politician. Pittsfield was primarily an agricultural community, however there were a large number of mills due to the area's numerous streams.

Pittsfield became a major center for producing wool after the arrival of Merino sheep from Spain in 1807. The wool industry became the city's primary employer. In 1891 the Electric Manufacturing Company created the first electric transformer. The company was the forerunner of the well known General Electric. The population had enormous growth due to the success of GE.

Pittsfield Attractions

  • Berkshire Museum features exhibits on natural science, ancient civilizations and art. It has an exhibit of Dinosaurs and Paleontology
  • Hebert Arboretum offers a wide variety of trees and plants in a natural environment
  • Wahconah Park is a popular baseball stadium
  • The Colonial Theatre is from the Vaudeville age and is known for having excellent acoustics
  • The city is known for its excellent musical theaters
  • Pittsfield includes homes from the mid-18th century and numerous historic neighborhoods
  • The Ellen Crane Memorial Sculpture Gallery offers neoclassical sculptures
  • The Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation is focused on the area's innovators
  • Arrowhead is the home of Herman Melville, the famous writer
  • The Berkshire Opera Company performs at the Koussevitzky Arts Center, located at Berkshire Community College

Pittsfield Activities

The Pittsfield State Forest offers cross-country skiing and hiking trails, a swimming area and is available for camping. Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area is nearby. Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary includes fields, wooded areas and wetlands. The Bousquet Ski Area and Summer Resort offers skiing, go-karts, water slides and a variety of activities. The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is popular with hikers. The area offers numerous trails for hiking enthusiasts including the Brickhouse Mountain, Cheshire Harbor, Taconic Skyline, Turner and the Wild Cat trails.

The Konkapot Brook, Farmington River - West Branch, the Westfield River and the Fall River provides opportunities for whitewater paddling. Onota Lake is utilized for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Ski Butternut, Catamount and Jiminy Peak are some of the available skiing areas. Pontoosuc Lake Country Club, Cranwell Resort & Golf Club and the Wahconah Country Club are popular with golfing enthusiasts.

Pittsfield Transportation

Air travel is available at the Albany International Airport.

Pittsfield Higher Education

Berkshire Community College is situated in Pittsfield. The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Westfield State College are located in the region.

People

Total Population 43,926
Male Share of the Population 48%
Female Share of the Population 52%
Senior Citizens 18.2%
Employed Population 16+ 20,428
Age of the Population 43

Families

% of people married 42.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 25.8%
Median Earnings25+ $31,887
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $16,313
Median Earnings With High School Degree $28,309

Wealth

Median Family Income $58,551
% Above Poverty Level 82.8%
% Below Poverty Level 17.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 18 minutes
% Working from Home 3.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.6%
% Using Public Transportation 1.4%

Housing

People Living Alone 36%
Median Gross Rent $785
Median House Value $172,500

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 17.2%
US/American 0%
English 8.5%
Irish 25%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pittsfield Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 29 miles SE of Albany, New York (center to center)
Nearest Large City 111 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts
County Berkshire
Metro Area Pittsfield
Standard Zip Codes 01201
P.O. Box Zip Codes 01202, 01203
Phone Area Codes 413
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.45
Longitude -73.245

Pittsfield Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station STOCKBRIDGE
Distance 11.3 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 33 F
Apr Temp 34 to 58 F
Jul Temp 57 to 81 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 0 inches
Station CUMMINGTON HILL
Distance 16 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 29 F
Apr Temp 33 to 52 F
Jul Temp 58 to 78 F
Oct Temp 37 to 57 F
Annual Precip 48.7 inches
Station VALATIE 1 N
Distance 22.4 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 31 F
Apr Temp 35 to 56 F
Jul Temp 59 to 81 F
Oct Temp 37 to 59 F
Annual Precip 39.6 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Pittsfield, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Allendale (01201)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Dalton 6,709 $62,212
Hancock 726 $81,607
Hinsdale 2,093 $74,485
Lanesborough 3,027 $87,989
Lenox 1,599 $110,938
Richmond 1,498 $113,438

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pittsfield Public Libraries

Library
Berkshire Athenaeum
1 WENDELL AVE.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
(413) 499-9480

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Pittsfield Hospitals

BERKSHIRE MEDICAL CENTER INC
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
725 NORTH STREET
(413) 447-2000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Pittsfield High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

TACONIC HIGH
96 VALENTINE ROAD
413-448-9600
Serves 1,011 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.8

PITTSFIELD HIGH
300 EAST STREET
413-499-9535
Serves 891 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.7

HIBBARD ALTERNATIVE
280 NEWELL STREET
413-448-9635
A Non-traditional School
Serves 69 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.7

Pittsfield Colleges

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Additional Details
Pittsfield Careers
Pittsfield career and employment information.
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Historic Pittsfield

photo

House of Mercy c1906.

Select a photo to view (Source):

House of Mercy c1906.

Elm Knoll (Longfellow House) between 1905 and 1915

Hotel Wendell c1906.

Additional Resources
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