Atop the highest natural point in Massachusetts sits a very iconic and historic property. Bascom Lodge, located at the summit of Mount Greylock in North Adams, was built in the 1930’s. Using only native materials of the mountain, such as schist and red spruce, the Bascom Lodge building displays the rustic architectural design of period park structures. Joseph McArther Vance, a Pittsfield architect, designed the lodge and the construction was carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and supervised by Jules Emil Deloye, Jr. The lodge was named in honor of John Bascom, a Greylock Reservation Commissioner and Williams College professor who had a strong association with the mountain during his lifetime.
Mount Greylock State Reservation was created in 1898 as Massachusetts’ first public land for the purpose of forest preservation. Recreational activities on the land include backpack camping, snowmobiling, hiking, and seasonal hunting. The road to the summit is open seasonally from late May through November (weather permitting). Also atop Mount Greylock is the Veterans War Memorial Tower. The tower was designed by Boston-based architects, Maginnis & Walsh and built by J.G. Roy & Son of Springfield in the early 1930’s and is still the highest point in the state.
In May 2009, DCR selected a Curator to operate, rehabilitate, and maintain Bascom Lodge. The property was leased to native sons John and Peter Dudek, who grew up in Adams, MA, and Brad Parsons. The trio—John’s a chef, Peter’s an artist/teacher who runs the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, and Brad’s a textile designer—have a 25-year lease and a ten-year plan to restore the lodge. They continue the decades-long tradition of providing quality food, lodging, and programs for visitors to Mt. Greylock State Reservation.
The restaurant located in Bascom Lodge offers a fluctuating menu inspired by the ethnic diversity of regional American cuisine and strongly emphasizes fresh, organic, and locally grown food. The large dining room with its high ceiling and hand-cut oak beams provide an ideal atmosphere for the enjoyment of an elegantly simple meal. The enclosed porch with wraparound windows overlooking a spectacular view of the Berkshires is the perfect relaxing space to enjoy a meal after a long day of hiking. The lodge is also available for weddings, anniversaries, and private parties.
Click here for the Bascom Lodge website: http://www.bascomlodge.net
photo courtesy of Bascom Lodge
photo courtesy of trip advisor
photo courtesy of panoramio
photo courtesy of Bascom Lodge
photo courtesy of Mass Arts and Culture Bulletin
The Historic Curatorship Program is a great preservation tool developed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). This program works with private groups to find new uses for historic properties. By leasing the property to a private owner who finances the restoration and upkeep for a select period of time, the historic resource is saved and brought back to viable use. The Speedway Building is just one of the many DCR properties and we would like to take time to highlight other successful outcomes of the Historic Curatorship Program.