(no date)

Although there is no date on this print, it seems to have been taken in either late summer or very early autumn, 1929. The Burlington Street Department evidently began the road improvement project for this section of Colchester Avenue at the bottom of the hill and worked upwards towards Chase Street.

The back of a cement mixer is visible in the middle ground of the image. One part of the work crew appears to be leveling a slab in one of the three parallel sections that run the length of the street, while another group prepares the middle section. New concrete curbs have already been finished on both sides of the street, but gutters have not yet been installed between the curb and the concrete paving. Rolls of the steel rod reinforcing mats lie on the side of the road in the left foreground.

A group of bystanders observe the progress of the road work. Members of the road crew are wearing overalls, white shirts and hats.

Modest houses and tenement buildings line both sides of the avenue. On the east side (left side of the print), ascending up the hill, the facades and front porches of 465-467, 463, 459, 457 and 449-451 Colchester Avenue are visible. In 1929, American Woolen Company employees lived at four of these seven addresses;[1] they likely rented one floor of the double-decker wood frame structures.

On the opposite side of the street, beginning at the bottom of the hill, William E. Bousquet, a bricklayer, lived at number 462, a four-square house built between 1912 and 1919.[2] Next is a large, well-maintained tenement house at number 454-456, erected between 1906 and 1912. In 1929 it was owned by Mrs. Louise LaMarche and rented out to four families. The façade of 452 Colchester Avenue, is partially visible behind the tenement house. This structure housed the Clipper Hose Company, Number 6, one of four Fire Department companies in Burlington, from 1873-1890.[3] At 448-450 Colchester Avenue is another tenement structure, occupied by the families of Clyde Weston and Leo L. Lavigne, both employed by the American Woolen Company.[4]

[1] Burlington City Directory (1929).

[2] Sanborn Insurance Maps (1912, 1919).

[3] Philip L. Barlow, “Burlington 1877: 452 Colchester Avenue.” (2003) http://www. uvm.edu/%7Ehp206/2003-1877/pbarlow / 1877/452%20colchester.html (November 7, 2005).

[4] City Directory (1929).


October 11, 2005

(18T 0644182   UTM 4927665)

The Colchester Avenue streetscape looking southward up the hill from the corner of Barrett Street remains essentially unchanged three-quarters of a century later. It remains a well-maintained, working-class neighborhood.

Some of the houses have been clad in vinyl or aluminum siding or have new or enclosed porches. No new buildings have been added to the neighborhood, nor have any been razed.

Colchester Avenue east of East Avenue, Barrett and Mill Streets

Historic Burlington Project
Burlington 1890 | Burlington 1877 | Burlington 1869 | Burlington 1853 | Burlington 1830

Produced by University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program graduate students
in HP 206 Researching Historic Structures and Sites - Prof. Thomas Visser
in collaboration with UVM Landscape Change Program
Historic images courtesy of Louis L. McAllister Photograph Collection University of Vermont Library Special Collections