43 South Williams Street

Loomis-Austin House, circa 1845


By Christian C. Carey

The Loomis-Austin house is a two and one half story brick Greek Revival structure. The central mass is a three by two bay volume capped with a full pediment gable roof and sits on a stone foundation. Asymmetrical wings flank the central mass and are capped with hipped roofs. The houses east façade borders on South Williams Street and set back from the street edge. The first floor of the central mass is penetrated by two six over six sash double-hung windows and a paneled entrance door. The windows have stone lintels and sills. The entrance has a stone lintel and flanked by three quarter sidelights. The second story fenestration consist of three six over six sash double-hung windows, with shutters. Greek Revival moldings make up the full pediment gable end. The tympanum has a centered six light fixed window with a gable arch lintel. This lintel is typical in Burlington neighborhoods during this period. The one by two bay wing to the south is a one story rectangular volume capped by a hipped roof. A single six over six sash double hung window is flanked by narrow fixed lights. Common to the windows are stone lintels and sills. Both wings are set back from the central mass. The wing to the north is a one by two bay brick volume also capped with a hipped roof. The first story has a six over six sash double-hung window centrally located within the façade. The second story window is smaller but proportionate and also has a six over six sash double-hung window.

The house has been remodeled several times and currently exists as condominiums. However, the house has significant National history pertaining to the city of Burlington. The house was originally constructed for Maria Loomis circa 1845 (2). After her death in 1889 the house passed to her nephew Horatio Loomis, a professor of mineralogy at the University of Vermont (1). The house was eventually purchased by Warren R. Austin, a local lawyer. Austin had several local and national significant occupations, such as: the Franklin County States Attorney, Mayor of St. Albans, and Representative of the American International Corporation (A.I.C.) (1). It was his job with the A.I.C. which led him to a political national and international carreer. He was elected to the United States Senate and was also a key participant in the forming of the United Nations Project (1). He later became the first United States representative to the United Nations. Austin entertained guest at this home such as: Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Truman, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy (1). The house is in a good state of preservation and is historically significant structure, both in aspects of architectural example of Greek Revival construction typical to Burlington during this period and for its legacy of owners.

1. David Blow, Historic Guides to Burlington Neighborhoods. Burlington: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1990.
2. Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey. Burlington, 1990.
3. United States National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Continuation Sheet (Burlington, VT, 1970)