Now the home of the Daily Planet Restaurant, the Gibbs building was built ca. 1868, in the Greek Revival style as a joint commercial and residential building. The two by three bay, two and a half story, gable-front house with slate roof and rear additions was assigned both local and state significance by the Burlington Historic Sites and Structures Survey (1). Wood frame with brick veneer, it has unusual large recessed arches around the windows. The clearstory roof was added in the 1930s.
There is a discrepancy between the 1869 Beers Atlas and 1869 Sanborn maps as to the exact location of the Gibbs building in relation to the neighboring L.S. Drew building, but structures of similar footprints, varrying distances apart, appear on both maps. The 1889 and 1894 Sanborn maps match the relative locations of those shown on the 1869 Sanborn map as number 15 Centre [sic] Street. The footprint shown on both the 1869 maps, as well as the later maps, is however, clearly different than the footprint on the 1853 Presdee and Edwards map. Assuming this was originally the building Gibbs owned, it seems to have been built between 1853 and 1869, based on the map evidence. There is an unlabelled footprint in the vicinity on the 1862 map, possibly placing the date of construction to as early as the late 1850s.
Warren Gibbs, Secretary of the Vermont Life Insurance Company, was the first known person to live in the front portion, according to the 1869-70 Burlington City Directory. He remained there until roughly 1882, when he became President of the Vermont Life Insurance Co. and moved to board at 3 Church Street (2). The Burlington Sites and Structures Survey noted that the Insurance Company later owned this building. The thread of ownership and occupancy is obscured between 1883 and 1894. In 1895, Elisha A. Abbott, the head waiter at the Hotel Burlington moved to the building. He remained there until 1902, by 1898 becoming the bookkeeper at the Burlington Steam Laundry. The next three years saw a series of renters, mainly clerks and laborers. Then, from 1906 through 1945, Fred M. Sheldon lived in the front and ran his printing press, Sheldon Print Press, at the back until at least 1951 . For the next twenty years the building remained partly commercial and partly residential. By 1980 it had transitioned to entirely commercial, hosting a variety of businesses . One of the current tenants, The Daily Planet restaurant, is not the building's first restaurant-it has housed the Charlie B. Good Bar and Restaurant and the Charlie B. Bad Bar in the 1980s. Other tenants since 1990 include hair stylists and design firms. It is important as one of only two remaining structures from the original development of the Church Street area as the main commercial center of Burlington.
(1) Shuttle, Clark, surveyor, Burlington Historic Sites and Structures Survey, Vermont Division for Historic Preservatoin, Chittenden County Historic Society, December 20, 1977.
(2) Burlington City Directories, 1865-1990.
Paving Center Street in the early 1930s. 13-15 Center Street is the building with with the chimney on the right side of street. Photo by L.L. McAllister, courtesty of UVM Library, Special Collections.