Can you tell me more about the history of the building?
Our building at 74 First Street in Pittsfield is really two buildings: a Neo-Gothic sanctuary built in 1892, the oldest structure on First Street; and administrative offices, program space, and function space built in 1960. The design for the Neo-Gothic sanctuary was based on a purchased plan by architect and Methodist pastor J. Stanly-D’Orsay (sometimes Stanley-D’Orsay). One particular highlight is the ceiling, laid out with long strips of pine that race toward the gables.
Isn't Common Room run by a church? Why don't you let people use the space for free?
Yes, Common Room is a ministry of Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsfield. Over the years, our leadership has come to believe that we tend to value the things in which we have some financial investment. By assessing rental fees, we are asking users to invest in Common Room.
Please know that Common Room is not a for-profit enterprise; whether we're talking about heating costs in the dead of winter, air-conditioning costs in the heat of summer, or the genuine maintenance costs of tables, chairs, floors, boilers, and technology, our rates are very low.
Are there uses of Common Room that aren’t allowed?
Probably. It's easier to say what we do allow (a much longer list), which includes any number of sacred and secular uses that are consistent with our core values of acceptance, creativity, friendship, leadership, and generosity. We've hosted everything from a rollicking honky-tonk concert to a nonprofit community organizing meeting.
Can I support the vision of Common Room in some way?
Yes. One great way to support Common Room is by clicking the "Wish List" link at the very top of the page. These are items from Amazon.com that our regular users have identified as needs for the space. All items purchased from this Wish List are shared among the musicians, artists, organizers, and members of our local community who call Common Room their home.
You can also write a check to Zion Lutheran Church with "Common Room" in the memo line. Direct donations like this help us keep costs low. Zion Lutheran Church is registered as 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, meaning cash gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Where can I learn more about Zion Lutheran Church?
Zion Lutheran Church has its own website: www.zionlutheranpittsfield.org.