65 Main St., Lenox Academy – c.1802

65 Main St., Lenox Academy - c. 1802
65 Main St., Lenox Academy – c. 1802

From Surveys Completed 2011-2012 by the Lenox Historical Commission

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Federal style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof and is intact. It has a five-bay center entrance; wood frame; hipped roof; and an octagonal cupola with a spire atop a tall square base. It has wood clapboard siding with a dentil band at the cornice. It has very light paneled corner boards, Palladian window on the second floor. The front façade is centered above the front entry with brackets below the sill and a dentiled cornice. The door surround has an entablature having metopes and triglyphs, and a gable above with modillions, fluted pilasters and 2/3rds-length 10-pane sidelights. There are intact 6-over-6 windows; authentic window blinds; and a large dressed stone foundation

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

On January 5, 1803, a group of twenty-five Lenox citizens petitioned the State Legislature to grant an incorporation to their group for the purpose of establishing an Academy. They were incorporated February 22, 1803 as “The Berkshire Academy,” the name being changed to the Lenox Academy in June of that year. The Academy flourished throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, and had a number of illustrious headmasters and students including John Hotchkiss, Josiah Lyman, Mark Hopkins and Charles Sedgwick. The Academy closed in 1866, serving as a public high school from 1869 until 1879. In 1879, under the direction of Judge Julius Rockwell, the building was moved to a new foundation and repaired, reopening the following year under principal Harlan H. Ballard. In 1886 the building was again put to use as a public high school, serving in that capacity until 1908. The Academy was incorporated as a private school, the Trinity School, in 1911 and remained in operation as such until the 1920’s.

After a period of vacancy and the threat of demolition, the decision was made at a special town meeting to preserve the building, and in 1947 the trustees of the Academy turned the building over to the town. Since that time it has served as office and meeting space for various public groups including the Girl Scouts, the Lenox Garden Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lenox Historical Commission.

Listed on National Register of Historic Places, September 30, 1982

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

Old Form B

Town of Lenox Assessor’s Map

Lenox Academy records 1803-1947 (manuscript in collection of Lenox Library)

Berkshire County Historical Society Survey form – D.S. Smith, October 1972

“Saving of Lenox Academy,” Berkshire Eagle, October 25, 1946

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

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