University of Vermont

Historic Burlingtonā€š Vermont

285 South Willard Street

285 South Willard Street

Built: 1889
Contributing structure in the South Willard Historic District
Owned by Champlain College

285 South Willard Street was built in 1889 by A.B. Fisher for Henry Ballard. (1) This Queen Anne/Shingle Style building is a rectangular block shingle siding on the second and third floors and stone for the main floor. There is a wide arch at the front entrance and a lovely circular veranda on the southern side of the front facade. A tower in the southeast corner of the building is hidden behind a large gable in the front of the building. A smaller gable at the northwest corner fo the building houses a Palladian window. The Billings Library on the University of Vermont Campus was built the year before the construction of this building and the influence of H.H. Richardson is very clear in this structure. Henry Ballard built several homes in Burlington and moved about every ten years.

Henry Ballard, published in 1893. (2)

In 1902 Ballard sold this property to Frank Wells, son of William Wells, who was an assistant secretary to the Wells and Richardson Company. In 1917 the house again changes hands this time to Frank D. Abernathy, a dry goods merchant and owner of the Abernathy Department Store. Abernathy was rumored to have the largest dry goods business in Vermont in 1912. (3) In the 1930's Trinity College built the property and named it Mercy Hall. It was sold thirty years later to the University of Vermont’s Phi Mu Delta fraternity. In 1992 Champlain College bought the building and did extensive renovation with the help of their physical plant staff. The building was renamed Bankus Hall after John Bankus whom was the with Champlain College from 1965 to 1977 as the vice-president of Finance. Today the building is a coed residence hall that stresses a substance free lifestyle. (4)

(1)Burlington City Directories for 1890, 68.

(2)Round About Burlington, 72.


(4)"Champlain College Website"

Last modified December 07 2004 01:00 AM

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