University of Vermont

Historic Burlingtonā€š Vermont

301 South Willard Street

301 South Willard Street

Built:1888
Contributing structure of the South Willard Historic District
Owned by Champlain College

301 South Willard Street was built as the summer home for William Loomis by A.B. Fisher. (1) 301 South Willard is a Queen Anne/shingle style home much like that of Henry Ballard of 285 South Willard Street. This building however lacks the Palladian windows, but it has a much more prominent tower at the front of the building rather than the side and its entrance portico hovers over the driveway. The building is not as dark as a typical Richardsonian building, this may be because Loomis intended it to be used only in the summer months and the lighter the shingles the less heat that would be absorbed into the house. Loomis did not remain in the house for very long and he eventually sold the building to John Robinson, President of the Vermont Life Insurance Company. Robinson resided there for only eight years and between 1900-1903 the building stood empty except for the basic caretakers. (2) In 1904 the City Editor of the Burlington Free Press, Walter Gates, bought the property and remained there until 1938. Soon after that the University of Vermont bought the building and converted it into a women’s residence hall, Claggett House. In 1965 Champlain College purchased the building with the intended use as a residence hall, the first one used by Champlain College. The building was renamed Jensen Hall after Albert Jensen who was integral to the purchase of the Burlington Business College and the foundation of Champlain College. There are many stories and legends that live in this house along with the students today. Some claim the house is haunted by a ghost of a sea captain and his wife who would climb the tower to wait for a sign of her husband’s ship in the harbor. However none of these stories can be proven and there is no evidence that a sea captain and his wife once lived in the building, but it is still dramatic and only adds to the appeal of this enchanting building. The building is still used as a residence hall by Champlain College. (3)

(1)Burlington City Directories for 1889-90, 162.

(2)HSSS

(3)"Champlain College Website."

 

Last modified December 07 2004 12:58 AM

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