87-103 North Avenue, photograph by Louis McAllister (c.1931)

GPS reading: 18T 0641374, UTM 4927216

This McAllister photograph shows the view from North Street west across North Avenue. Streetcar tracks are clearly visible turning from North Street north onto North Avenue. Straight ahead is 87-95 North Avenue, a late 19th century mixed residential and commercial block with Italianate detailing. Built in 1893 or early 1894, the city directory for 1894 shows that Frank Riley was running a grocery store at this address. The block was divided into 8 lots in 1886, the four lots facing North Avenue were numbered 87 to 95.[1] In 1902, George Saiger opened a department and grocery store on the first floor of the building. Saiger ran the business from 1902 until his death in 1926. In 1928 when Saiger’s wife died, the property was sold to Alex Colodny.[2] The National Register nomination for the North Street Historic District indicates that Colodny remodeled the building, raising the roof at the south end. The only possible evidence for this in the city directories is that the directory for 1928 shows two apartments listed at 89 North Avenue while the directory for 1929 shows three apartments with that address. In this image, the sign above the business still reads “Saiger’s.” Colodny did not rename the business until 1932, giving an indication of the date of this photograph.[3]

At the far right of the photograph the south facade of 103 North Avenue is just visible. Built in or just before 1890, this duplex appears on the 1890 Hopkins Map of Burlington and on the 1894 Sanborn Insurance Map. On the latter, it is identified as a tenement. The earliest resident traced to this address is Edward Cabana, an employee of W. & D. G. Crane, who lived at 103 North Avenue in 1894.

[1] Gabrielle Bougerie, Brian Knight, Elaine Park, Draft North Street Historic District nomination, National Register of Historic Places, 1996, section 7, 2.

[2] David J. Blow, A Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, vol.1 (Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1991), 10.

[3] Burlington City Directory, 1934.



95 - 103 North Avenue, photograph by T. N. Martin, 2005

GPS reading: 18T 0641374, UTM 4927216

Though many changes are visible in the contemporary view, the scene is still recognizable. The streetcar tracks are gone, replaced by brightly painted crosswalks and double yellow lines. Power lines are missing, but two streetlights have taken their place. At the far right, the sign from the Sunoco station at 98 North Avenue intrudes on the image. A service station first appeared at this address between 1954 and 1956.[4]

The building at the center of the shot is owned today by Burlington College. After acquiring the building in the early 1980s, the College undertook extensive remodeling of the structure.[5] Especially noticeable is the removal of the first floor storefront windows and awnings across the entire length of the front façade. Another striking change is the glass entry foyer created at the junction of the 3-story and 2-story blocks of the structure. The renovations did, however, involve restoration of much of the building’s clapboard sheathing, scalloped shingles and bracketed cornice.[6] Opened by Burlington College in 1983, building’s new address is 95 North Avenue.

The duplex at 103 North Avenue remains standing and continues to serve its original residential purpose.

[4] Burlington City Directory, 1954: 1956.

[5] Blow, vol 1, 11.

[6] Bougerie, Knight and Park, section 7, 2.



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