North Adams Cultural Development Master Plan - NORTH ADAMS, MA
The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum (EMRCA) is the centerpiece of the comprehensive Cultural Master Plan for the City North Adams, building on the success of MASS MoCA and re-making the city into a truly international cultural destination. EMRCA is the key to the revitalization of Heritage Park and, by extension, the south side of main street, which was razed more than fifty years ago in the name of an urban renewal for downtown that never really took place. It is the key to the current plan by virtue of its capacity to attract a significant audience.
The Economic Impact Analysis generated last summer by the Center for Creative Community Development—an independent research center at Williams College—estimated audience demand at 500,000 to 750,000 visitors annually, based on three factors: existing attendance at Northern Berkshire cultural attractions; international comparables; and an extensive national audience survey conducted with the participation of 1Berkshire, the county wide Chamber of Commerce. If those numbers materialize, the economic impact will create as many as 1500 new jobs, transform the local economy, and jump start the other components of the MasterPlan.
One significant feature of the Master Plan is that all the components—from Mass MoCA to EMRCA; from Heritage Park to the Mohawk Theater—are all within walking distance of one another, with the new Central Park/North Adams commons as its center. Contiguous to this complex of cultural attractions are parking spaces for 1500 cars and 50 tourist buses.