Bascom Lodge atop Mount Greylock
Located at the peak of Mount Greylock in the Northwestern corner of Massachusetts, Bascom Lodge has been a retreat for hikers and travelers for nearly 80 years. The current structure was built in the 1930s to replace the original lodge which burned down in the late 20s. Bascom Lodge was designed in the craftsman style by Joseph McArthur Vance, an architect from the neighboring city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts who designed several notable local buildings including the Colonial Theatre and the Mahaiwe Theatre. The lodge was constructed by the CCC beginning around 1933 and was opened to the public in 1937. Materials included local red spruce and schist stone, which was harvested in part by the CCC crews clearing hiking trails on the mountain. Bascom Lodge was one of the CCC’s many lodge-building projects in the National State Parks. Bascom Lodge gets its name from John Bascom, a graduate of Williams college class of 1849 and one of the first commissioners of the Greylock reservation which was designated as a state preserve in 1898.
The Mount Greylock Summit as a whole is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and “contains an exceptional collection of CCC resources. Most notable is Bascom Lodge, as well as the associated outbuildings, roads, trails and a particularly well designed parking area” (mass.gov).
Currently, the site is run by the Bascom Lodge Group in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Historic Curatorship Program. In 2009 the DCR selected Peter and John Dudek, along with their business partner Brad Parsons, to serve collectively as “a Curator who agrees to rehabilitate, manage and maintain a historic property in return for a long-term lease” (mass.gov). The renovation now extends beyond the building itself to include a native plant garden on the grounds. The Bascom Lodge website explains that “the plants in the garden at Bascom Lodge are grown from seed collected within the reservation, taken from cuttings, or divisions of plants actually growing here” (bascomlodge.net), illustrating the time and attention given to managing the property.
Known and loved for its grand fireplaces, exposed beams, and otherwise rustic appearance, Bascom Lodge does not only serve as a tourist destination and recreational spot. In recent years, the site has hosted cultural programs and regularly scheduled community events for residents of Berkshire County and surrounding areas. Bascom Lodge is open May through October, though the exact dates depend upon weather conditions.
Wikipedia - Mount Greylock mass.gov - CCC Work in Massachusetts Forests and Parks mass.gov - Historic Curatorship Program http://www.bascomlodge.net/1002/Page.aspx - About Us www.bascomlodge.net
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish, Cassandra Peltier on April 3, 2015.
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