Before and After: Bird's Eye Pittsfield

Some people out there eagerly await the next season of Game of Thrones. But me? I was thrilled when I saw there was a newly updated set of aerial images available on Google Earth a couple of months ago. That’s because with Google Earth’s Historical Imagery feature, one can watch how a place changes over the years, like riding in a flying time machine. And with a four-year gap between the previous and newest images of Pittsfield, there is plenty to check out. Come along for the ride:

BCC installs the new turf field at its West Street Campus.

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The Common finishes its multi-phase makeover. This one has imagery all the way back to 2005 in order to see how the park looked pre-facelift. Notice the demolition of the old Plunkett School in the bottom left area of the image (the white rectangle).

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The William Stanley Business Park sees some action. Notice the construction of Mountain One Bank in the bottom left, the demolition and replacement of the Woodlawn Avenue bridge at the top of the image, and the groundbreaking of the Berkshire Innovation Center in the final frame.

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The newly-widened West Housatonic Street and Center Street intersection to allow for better flow of trucking traffic out west.

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The Pittsfield Municipal Airport extends its runway. While the project actually finished more than four years ago, I thought it was too big a project not to share. The west end of the runway was also lobbed off in order to bring it up to standard with a 1000-foot clear zone off the end.

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Also, Springside Park now has a farm!

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And the one you’ve all been waiting for: the demolition and replacement of Taconic High School.

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And a little bonus if you made it this far. It’s clear that Pittsfield is becoming the solar capital of western Massachusetts; over the past four years a ton of projects have come online. Here are a few before-and-afters of ground mounted solar arrays around the city. Think Green!

BETNR Industrial Park

BETNR Industrial Park

Off Churchill Street near the Lanesborough town line (yellow line)

Off Churchill Street near the Lanesborough town line (yellow line)

Hancock Shaker Village and Ice River Springs bottling facility near the Hancock town line (yellow line)

Hancock Shaker Village and Ice River Springs bottling facility near the Hancock town line (yellow line)

The solar landfill project at Downing Industrial Park and another to the south by National Grid (I believe. Someone correct me if I’m wrong though). The yellow line is the Dalton town line along Division Road and Hubbard Avenue.

The solar landfill project at Downing Industrial Park and another to the south by National Grid (I believe. Someone correct me if I’m wrong though). The yellow line is the Dalton town line along Division Road and Hubbard Avenue.

The old Ponterril campus near Pontoosuc Lake has been solarized.

The old Ponterril campus near Pontoosuc Lake has been solarized.

That’s it! If you are bored someday, try downloading Google Earth for yourself and seeing if your neighborhood has changed over the years. Once inside look for the “reverse clock” symbol to turn on historical imagery. Let me know if you find any other hidden surprises around Pittsfield while you’re exploring!

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