Welcome to Common Room.

Common Room is the outcome of a spectacular renovation of the historic sanctuary at Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsfield – one of the oldest Lutheran churches in New England. Our vision: take 4,000 square feet of space, affix very little furniture to the floor, surround the venue with pine ceilings, maple flooring, and vibrant stained glass, and imagine the possibilities.

As a community gathering space, Common Room is available for a range of activities and events, whether large or small, however seldom or frequently-occurring, and regardless of faith.
 

Quick facts:

Location: 74 First Street (Route 7) in downtown Pittsfield
Venue size: 4,470 square feet, including a performance platform (all ADA accessible)
Capacity: just shy of 300, with ~200 people most comfortable when seated
Comfortable all year, including air-conditioning in the summer
Convenient tech, including dimmable LED lighting, WiFi access, and a modern sound system with wireless microphones
Excellent acoustics with a grand piano and large pipe organ

Past Successful Events:

• Small Group Workshops + Trainings
• Lectures + Motivational Speakers
• Annual Meetings + Gala Receptions + Fundraisers
• Theatre Rehearsals
• Music Concerts, incl. classical, folk, and pop
• TV Interviews
• Farmers Markets
• Community Dinners
Weddings
• Events for children & youth

Helpful tip: a space of this size (over 4000 ft²) can accommodate dual uses, particularly for events for fewer than 100 attendees. For example, we can host a formal presentation (with chairs facing a podium or projection screen) at one end of the room, with tables and chairs for a meal at the other end.

Included Amenities:

• Tables and chairs arranged as you need them and taken down after the event
• Access to our bottle filler with chilled, filtered water + water pitchers
• Epson LCD Projector (no laptop provided)
• 144″ diagonal projection screen
• Breakout space, if requested
• Reasonable clean-up after the event
• If there’s something you need for a successful event, let us know – we might have it!

Parking information:

On evenings and weekends, parking is free in the municipal lot directly across the street. During the Monday through Friday business hours, parking is 50 cents per hour until 4 p.m. (no time limit). The first 30 minutes are free. Avoid getting a ticket by entering your license plate number in one of the parking kiosks in the lot (even for the 30 free minutes). Coins and credit cards are accepted. You do not need to place the receipt in your window.

To inquire, email office@zionlutheranpittsfield.org.

Frequently-asked questions:

Aren’t you talking about your sanctuary? Why is it called Common Room?
Yes, Common Room is the sanctuary where our church worships on Sundays at 10:00am. We call it Common Room to reflect its capacity for use outside of worship; our vision of shared, common space for the sake of our neighborhood; and our proximity to Pittsfield Common, the adjacent city park.

Can you tell me more about the building itself?
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, 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.

Are beer and wine allowed at events?
In a word, yes; however, all renters and/or caterers must comply with all applicable laws and liquor regulations and acquire all permits required by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the City of Pittsfield. All renters and caterers must also abide by church policies with respect to alcohol, found on our Rules & Policies page.

Why in the world did you remove the pews, spend lots of money, and do this project?
As Lutheran Christians, we are a church called to baptized, share the Eucharist, bury the dead, and care for one another. We are also called to use what we have to contribute to the vitality of our community, including our building. By opening our facility to the artists, musicians, and nonprofits who need it to do their work, we foreshadow God’s promised future of a flourishing creation.

Construction partners: