Old Mill (2 of 3)
Old Mill served the University
for the next thirty-five years with few changes, but in 1881,
Burlington native and benefactor, John Purple Howard, donated
sixty-five thousand dollars and enlisted architect, Jean Jacques
Rouseau Randall of Rutland, Vermont, to modernize the Old Mill
in the popular Victorian Gothic style.
Above: Old Mill after the
1882 renovation. (UVM Archives)
As the Burlington Free Press
noted on December 16, 1881:
These changes, with others contemplated
in the plan, including a much higher and more artistic tower,
will give the building a much finer front, and make it, beyond
question, a very imposing and handsome structure and one which
in its enlarged proportions, higher and more healthful rooms,
and architectural elegance, will be much more suitable for its
purposes, as well as more ornamental than the present building.
The 1882 renovation of Old Mill
was a huge undertaking that involved completely rebuilding of
the front and side facades, raising the ceiling heights by four
feet, and adding a fourth floor with dormers for dormitory space.
Public opinion was mixed when
the gold dome was dismantled and replaced with a 150-foot tall
steeple tower, but the virtually new building was praised for
its more convenient interior.
The dome - this prominent object came very
naturally to be regarded by alumni and the permanent residents
of Burlington with special interest; numerous and sometimes pathetic
have been the requests from distant and long absent graduates
of the College, that, whatever might be done with the rest of
the 'Old Brick Mill,' its shining dome, the great landmark of
the valley, might be preserved in its integrity. It seemed, to
the older alumni especially, to be a sort of exponent of the
work and aim of the University.
Burlington Free Press, 15 August 1882.
The old College dome is no more. This morning
the last vestige of the ancient landmark and surveyor's beacon
disappeared. Verily, the glory of the hill has departed.
Burlington Free Press, 18 May 1882.
The 1882 renovation of Old Mill provided
suites of dormitory rooms in the north and south wings of the
upper floors. These rooms were heated by cast iron wood stoves.
Fine colorful wallpapers covered the plaster walls and ceilings.
Right: Old Mill interior, student room,
top floor. Photograph circa 1890. (UVM Archives)
to Old Mill History page 3 of 3