First Church of Christ, Congregational, in Pittsfield, Mass.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) — First Church of Christ, Congregational will open its doors on Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m. for a special tour highlighting the architectural history of its building and sanctuary, along with an exhibit of historic artifacts and a demonstration of the church’s organ. Church historian Martin Langeveld, who has researched the history of the church and its buildings, will lead an in-depth tour in which participants will gain an understanding of how the sanctuary has evolved during the 158 years since the church was built.
"Allen Window" of First Church of Christ, Congregational, Pittsfield (facing Park Square)
Highlighting the tour will be an examination of the themes of the historic stained glass windows, which include major works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Elizabeth Tillinghast and Clara Miller Burd. Visitors will be able to examine the windows at close range to see how the artists layered and textured the glass to achieve special effects.
The tour will also cover the religious symbolism of many other elements of the sanctuary including wood carvings, wall stencils, the baptismal font and the Celtic cross. Langeveld will also discuss the background of Leopold Eidlitz, the first Jewish architect in the United States, who designed the building. Historic silver and other items from its collection will be on display in the parlor.
As part of the tour, Lou Steigler, the church’s Minister of Music Emeritus and Dean of Berkshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, will demonstrate the four manual, approximately 3,600-pipe Austin organ.
The church, dedicated in 1853, and the third meeting house of this congregation that gathered in 1764, is located on Park Square, between the two Berkshire Bank buildings. This event is open to the public and free of charge. For additional information, call the church office at 413.447.7351.