September 1, 1929

This is the first of a ‘before and after’ pair of photographs taken by McAllister to show the street conditions prior to the municipal work along Colchester Avenue and just after completion. Here the view is looking west toward East Avenue, shot from near the entrance to Green Mount Cemetery at the top of the hill. The typed caption on the verso of the photographic print reads:

"Colchester Avenue… as it appeared just before construction work was started… Note the edge of the manhole in the left foreground of the picture also [sic] note the rough and wavy condition of the pavement due to successive surface treatments and cold-patch under heavy traffic. Note the old car tracks on the left which are to be removed."[1]

The Annual Report of the City of Burlington for 1929 describes the work in greater detail:

"Before the new paving could be constructed on this job it was necessary to remove the old trolley tracks which had just been abandoned and construct a new concrete integral curb and gutter on the easterly side of the street for the entire length of the job. This allowed the pavement to be widened approximately nine feet as the old pavement outside of the track area had an average width of about twenty-six feet."[2]

Thus the new pavement extended the street to about thirty-five feet from curb to curb. From the photograph, it appears as if the old paving surface was densely packed earth, as evidenced by the gentle convexity of the road, its rutted surface and the rough transition from roadway to street near the trolley track. There is a granite curb along the north side of the street. Details of the houses are concealed by the vegetation of the trees.

[1] Louis L. McAllister, “Burlington Street Department Photographs” (Burlington: Bailey/Howe Library, c.1929-1941).

[2] Annual Report of the City of Burlington, Vermont (1929), 235.



October 11, 2005

(18T 0644059   UTM 4927233)

There are fewer large shade trees lining the road in this recent image, especially along the north side. The width of the streets and curbing remain unaltered, except for some new curb cuts, since the 1929 photograph was taken. The volume of traffic, however, has grown very significantly.

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