Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Documenting Mount Carmel Church

My friend, Jeff, had recently informed me that Mount Carmel Parish in Pittsfield was closing. His great-grandmother had sponsored one of the faux-windows in the church (behind which the bell tower rises) and he wanted to take photos of the window and dedication plaque.

It's not very often that one is offered the opportunity to take photos in a church - let alone an empty church - apart from weddings and baptisms. It was a beautiful day, and the natural light in the empty church was really interesting. Jeff had asked the janitor in advance for assistance, and he had provided us with a 10' ladder to help bring us level with the tall window.

The painted window dedicated by Jeff's great-grandmother:

After taking photos of the window and the main church building, we were invited to experience the climb up the bell tower. We entered through a door that "most people think is a broom closet," and were guided via head-lamp up the iron ladder and pigeon-poo covered stairs (my hands were sweaty with acrophobia) - thus the blurry photo! We weren't able to ascend to the actual bell, but we were darn close!

I am excited to share all of my photos from this morning's adventure here.


nrousseau said...


These are great photos of Mt Carmel. Like your friend, I am also a descendant of the original group of Italians that funded and built the church. Can you please contact me? I have a question for you ..

Thank you

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful a photos. I too am a descendant of the founders of this wonderful church. It was heartbreaking to see it close. Thanks for such a lovely tribute.

Erin Murphy said...

It was my hope in publishing these photos online that they would be discovered by people like you! I am truly glad that you found them.