University of Vermont

Historic Burlingtonā€š Vermont

156 King Street

This gable front, 1 1/2 story, wood frame, clapboard sided building, with Queen Anne style detailing, was built between 1885 and 1889 as housing for workers.1  The building is the last survivor of a row of four similar buildings built for the property owner Charles P. Smith by the contractor John W. Roberts.2 Smith, who had purchased a feed and grain business in Burlington in 1867 at the age of 20 and grown prosperous, was elected as trustee of the Burlington Savings Bank in the early 1880s, president of the bank in 1889, and a member of the Vermont Legislature in 1894.3  Roberts, who had commenced business in Burlington circa 1869, constructed many worker homes similar to this building throughout the city, before running into financial difficulties and leaving the city in the mid-1890s.4  The earliest known resident in the building is S.L. Brown, a clerk at the A.L. Barrows grocery, who lived in the house from ca. 1890 to 1898.5

The block of King Street where this house stands was once the site of a ravine through which the Central Vermont Railroad ran trains.6 In the 1860s, the CVRR relocated its rails and, by the late 1870s, the ravine and surrounding lands had respectively been filled and leveled, permitting development of this area.7

1 Cramer, Adele, Historic Sites and Structures Survey of 156 King Street, Burlington, prepared for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, July 11, 1977.

2 Ibid; See Hopkins, G. M., C.E., Map of the City of Burlington Vermont from Official Records, Private Plans and Actual Surveys (Philadelphia: Hopkins, 1890).

3 Dodge, Prentice C., ed., Encyclopedia Vermont Biography (Burlington: Ullery, 1912), 314.

4 Cramer, 156 KingStreet; Blow, David J., Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods (Burlington: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1991) 134-136.

5 Burlington City Directory for 1890, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1890); Burlington City Directory for 1891, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1891); Burlington City Directory for 1892, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1892); Burlington City Directory for 1893, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1893); Burlington City Directory for 1894, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1894); Burlington City Directory for 1895, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1895); Burlington City Directory for 1896, including a Business Directory and Directory of Winooski (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1896); Burlington City Directory for 1898, including Winooski and South Burlington (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1898).

6 See Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. (New York: F. W. Beers, 1869); Birds Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, VT. (Madison,: J.J. Stoner, 1877); Blow, 52-53.

7 Cramer, Adele, Historic Sites and Structures Survey of King Street, Burlington - Statement of Significance, prepared for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1977.

Last modified December 08 2004 12:53 PM

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