It's something that we usually take for granted here in the commonwealth, especially in the Berkshires. The fact that we have a lot of historic buildings with some pretty amazing pieces of history behind. It's also sad when one has been forgotten, abandoned, empty, and sometimes falling to disrepair.

However, it's always amazing when that rundown building has some potential light at the end of that tunnel. Like the former Moderne Studios Building at 19 Eagle Street in North Adams that have been sold for $100,000 at auction on Tuesday, December 6, by Skip Barry of The Barry Group Real Estate. If you're a North County native like I am, you're probably very well familiar with that faded lettering on the side of the building that talks about different shoe sizes for women.

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loading... reports that $100,000 was the lone bid for the property, despite several interested parties showing up for the auction. Prior to the bidding, potential bidders were given a tour of the three-floor, 5300-square-foot building.

"I think it's a fabulous location and a fabulous building" - Skip Barry

Barry also stated that owns several other properties in the downtown area and has no connection with any previous owners or businesses related to the property he purchased.

According to Historic North Adams, the original structure dates back to the 1800s and is the former site of many different uses. A criminal lockup (which I did not know about) between 1864 and 1869. Building was deemed unfit by 1869. The building was then bought by the Tower Brothers, Horace and Henry Tower who both renovated the building and by 1876 they began using it as a butcher shop. In 1870, the Tower brothers started to expand the building onto 19 Eagle Street and was finished in 1872.

By 1901, the company went bankrupt and by 1915, the building was sold to Charles Kronick where he opened a shoe store in 1920. In the 1950s, Moderne Studios Photography occupied the building until it's closure mid-decade. The building has been vacant for many years and has only received minor work including electricity in 2003, excavation in the basement in 2008, and added beams and structural steel in 2009.

When put to use, granted that everything is up to date, the building can house one commercial space on the first floor and four residential units on the second and third floors. Personally, this is great news for the city of North Adams knowing that many historic buildings have good potential due to their solid structures.

What would you like to see occupy this historic building? Let us know on our station app. 

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