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Pittsfield Historical Commission Approves Demolitions
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:26AM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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The Historical Commission felt the tiny cottage at 39 Forest Ave. was out of place in the neighborhood.


The former storefront at 730 Tyler was approved for demolition to make way for market-rate housing.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Historical Commission approved the demolition of two structures in the Morningside neighborhood, making way for the development of market-rate housing  
 
The structures at 730 Tyler St. and another on 39 Forest Ave. were approved for removal on Monday..
 
"This is a followup for the demolition that you approved quite a while ago for the property right next door so this application and your next are both related to that project," City Planner CJ Hoss said.
 
Just last week, the City Council approved a tax increment exemption with Mill Town Capitol that plans to redevelop five adjourning parcels on 730-748 Tyler St and construct two new multi-family structures with parking in the rear. A 16-unit building will front on Tyler Street with four units in a separate building fronting on Forest Place.
 
The project will create 20 units of market-rate rental housing. This project represents $6.3 million of capital investment.
 
Hoss said an effort was made to try to preserve a portion of the Tyler Street building but economically it did not make sense to try to save the unique storefront. The building had been most recently used for the Tyler Street Lab, an incubator for community organizations. The lab has since moved across the street to 741 Tyler.
 
The committee agreed.
 
"I don’t see anything redeemable about this building," Chairman John Dickson said. "It is in poor condition."
 
Hoss said the project has already received the Zoning Board of Appeals approval, and the Historical Commission is the last stop.
 
"This is really the last permitting step before they can seek a building permit to demolish it," Hoss said.
 
The commission also approved the demolition of 39 Forest Ave., a small cottage that Commissioner Jeffry Bradway noted seemed out of place.
 
"That is where the cyclone let it down with Dorothy," he joked.
 
This property also needs to be demolished to accommodate the market-rate housing project.
 
The last approval for demolition was a house at 33 Circular Ave.
 
Hoss said there are a lot of abandoned homes in the area.
 
"Unfortunately, this neighborhood has seen a lot of abandonment over the years," he said. "I know the Historical Commission has approved a few different demolitions over there in the past couple of years."
 
Hoss said the city is taking down the home because of its condition but noted like properties could be valuable plots of land. He said if the property was city-owned it could be a good Habitat for Humanity project.
 
Before closing, the commission reappointed Dickson to the Community Preservation Act Committee and as the chairman of the Historical Commission.   
 
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