University of Vermont

Historic Burlingtonā€š Vermont

The Hill Section: South of Main Street between South Union and South Prospect Streets

The Hill Section

South of Main Street between South Union and South Prospect Streets

By Alexis Godat

The Hill Section is located south of Main Street between South Prospect and South Union Streets. This area is on a very large hill along the coast of Lake Champlain. This area was very popular with the prominent men and women of the Burlington area because they were able to get excellent views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain from almost everywhere within the section.

The most desirable pieces of land were located on South Willard Street, which is located near the top of the hill and runs through the Champlain College campus. This road has the largest and the greatest quantity of architecturally built residences in the whole of the section. Many of the homes were built by the prominent architect, AB Fisher. All the buildings on this street are masonry construction, usually a Redstone foundation and brick of another stone above the foundation. Many of these buildings are owned by Champlain College today. The college has gained these buildings over the last one hundred years. These buildings have been wonderfully preserved and redeveloped. Most of the buildings on this street are residence halls or classrooms.

The second most popular area of the Hill Section is South Union Street. Here the views are still wonderful but the land was cheaper and more available to the average businessmen of the area and therefore this was a popular area to build residences. The buildings are located close together and are made of Redstone foundations and wood on the upper levels. These buildings were built by lesser architects and builders. They are wonderful examples of the growing prosperity of the Burlington area during the 1880's. Today most of the remaining buildings have been converted into apartments for local college students. Many have as many as eight apartments in them or as few as three.

South Prospect Street is located at the top of the hill and runs through the University of Vermont campus. The only building remaining from that time period is house number 205. This building is made of brick is a true vernacular builiding in that an untrained man designed it, to prove that it could be done.

Spruce Street extends from South Willard to St Paul Streets however the section of Spruce Street located within the Hill Section was not developed until about 1886. This area was developed very slowly because of its location, a very steep hill. The only building remaining from 1877-1890 is house number 170. This building was built by architect and builder WO Spear who just beginning to grow in popularity about 1887. The building is wood on the upper floors and stone on the entire first story.

Maple Street was much like Spruce Street in that it is a connection street traveling up the hill. The road connects St Paul to South Prospect Streets. This is a very steep section of the hill and it was really developed unto late in our time period. The building located in this area are mainly vernacular wood frame buildings. The buildings located here appear to be mostly private residences or coverted into apartments for the very near Champlain College.

Summit Street is located parallel to Lake Champlain between South Prospect and South Willard Streets. The land here was not fully developed until after this time period because the land on both sides of the road was divided into large plots with only a single building and many with no buildings at all. The only building remaining today is located at 83 Summit Street, both a house and a carriage barn. This is a large brick structure that was developed by AB Fisher, a very popular architect of the time period. This building is now in the hands of Champlain College. They have turned it into classrooms, but its dynamic quality still remains.

Jackson Court was not really called that during this time period it was simply a driveway really. This road is characterized by the many different carriage barns, garages, and small staff buildings. The one building from this timeperiod that remains, 192 Jackson court, is a residential builiding which was meant to house the livery staff that worked there.



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