237 - 329 North Avenue, photograph by Louis McAllister, 1934

GPS reading: 18T 0641131, UTM 4927584

In these images, McAllister recorded a Telford base of broken stone being prepared as part of a repaving project at the northwest corner of Berry Street and North Avenue. The photographs show the view looking north. Interestingly, these images were used in the 1934 Annual Report for the City of Burlington to illustrate the range of work that had been undertaken in that year by the Street Department.

The building in the foreground on the left is 237 North Avenue, built in 1922 (or early 1923) as a Packard dealership.[1] The stepped roofline of the building’s false front gives it a subtle Art Deco flair. Operated as Packard Vermont Motors from 1923 through 1927, another car dealership, C.H. Goss Co. Autos, opened at this location in 1928.[2] At the time that these photographs were taken, C.H. Goss was still in business and, as evidenced by the sign hanging over the entrance, Packards were still being sold at this address.

The buildings visible in the distance on the left are 311 and 329 North Avenue. Dr. Waldo G. Upton, President and Treasurer of the Lake View Sanitarium, had the 1 ½ story bungalow-style house at 311 North Avenue built as his residence in 1923. The house is side-gabled and has a veranda across the back. The building’s first story is random coursed ashlar stone construction. The gables and dormers are clad with clapboards.[3] Dr. Upton was still running the sanitarium eleven years later when McAllister took these pictures. Hiram E. Upton,

a physician and instructor at the University of Vermont was living in the rear of the house at the time.[4]

Lake View Sanitarium was built in 1882. It appears on the 1890 Hopkins Map of Burlington as the Lake View Retreat. Run as a private institution specializing in mild mental illness, it was founded by Dr. John Murray Clark, a graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine.[5]

On the right side of the photograph, a row of single-family homes is visible. All share a similar two-story, gable-front and wing plan. The closest house, 248 North Avenue has decorative bargeboards and side porches on both floors. Built in or around 1884, the first resident at this address appears to have been a grocer by the name of S.A. Wagner.[6] The 1890 Hopkins Map of Burlington shows Mrs. S.A. Wagner, presumably the grocer’s widow, living at this address. At the time that McAllister took these photographs, it was the residence of a retiree by the name of Carlton L. Livermore.

The next house down the block is 252 North Avenue. This house is very similar in plan to 248, but has a wrap-around porch on the first floor and Italianate roof brackets. It was built in around 1889. Miss Fannie M. Murray is the first resident listed at this address in the City Directories and her name is also associated with the property on the 1890 Hopkins map. The year McAllister was photographing this block, 252 was the residence of Alfred E. Bushey, a painter and paperhanger.[7]

Beyond 252, 258 North Avenue can be identified by its shed-roofed side porch. This house was the long-time home of the McBride family. Archibald McBride, a mason, was the first resident of the house. He is shown living at this address in the City Directory of 1889. Later, a Mrs. Fidelia McBride, perhaps Archibald’s widow, is listed at this address and by 1914, a Frederick McBride was living there. At the time of these photographs, it was the residence of a steel worker named Perley G. Coltran.[8]

Built in or around 1888, the next house visible on the right is 262 North Avenue. It has a wrap-around porch with a solid balustrade. The first resident of the house was Jessie A. Ruskin, originally an employee of the grocer S.A. Wagner, in residence at 248 North Avenue.[9] Mr. Ruskin’s name appears in association with this address on the 1890 Hopkins map. In 1934, when these photographs were taken, it was the home of Harold F. Wakefield who worked both as a salesman for the Strong Hardware Company and as a U.S. Deputy Marshal.[10]

The last house, just visible at the end of the block is 266 North Avenue. Built 1890 or 1891, this house was the long-time residence of Fred W. Wakefield. Mr. Wakefield, a sail maker, was employed for years in the family business of James Wakefield “Rigger and Sail maker.” The 1890 Hopkins Map shows a vacant lot at this address with the name F.M.(sic) Wakefield.

John L. Sherman, a mechanical foreman for the Rutland Railroad was in residence at this address in 1934 when McAllister photographed this block.[11]

[1] Burlington City Directory, 1923

[2] Burlington City Directory, 1923; 1924; 1925; 1926; 1927; 1928

[3] C. Richard Morsbach, Historic Sites & Structures Survey, 311 North Avenue, Burlington, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1978.

[4] Burlington City Directory, 1934

[5] David J. Blow, A Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, vol 3, (Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003), 95.

[6] Amanda Ciampolillo, North Avenue, Burlington 1890 website, www.uvm.edu/%7Ehp206/2004-1890/burlington1890/website/aciampol/northavenue.

[7] Burlington City Directory, 1934.

[8] Ciampolillo.

[9] Burlington City Directory, 1900; 1934.

[10] Burlington City Directory, 1892.



237 - 329 North Avenue, photograph by Tracy N. Martin, 2005

GPS reading: 18T 0641131, UTM 4927584

The most significant changes that have occurred along this stretch of North Avenue since McAllister took his photographs in 1934 are mostly obscured by trees in the contemporary photographs.  Development on the west (left) side of the street has resulted in the addition of four structures north of the commercial building at 237 North Avenue (the old C.H. Goss building). In 1940 or 1941, a three-unit residential building, 245-247-249 North Avenue, was built just beyond the Goss building. Then in 1949, the first single-family house was built north of Sunset Court at 259 North Avenue. A year later, a second single-family house, 263 North Avenue was built and in 1950, 267 was constructed. This brought development on this side of the street just to the edge of the deep escarpment under which the railroad still passes. If one could see beyond the commercial building at 237 North Avenue in the contemporary photographs, the cupola of the Lake View Sanitarium would no longer be visible; the Sanitarium building was demolished in 1975 or 76.

On the east (right) side of the street, all the houses visible in the McAllister photos are still standing, though many cannot be seen due to the growth of broad trees. The houses themselves, however, have undergone a variety of changes. The most obvious of these is the absence of the porches on the house at 248 North Avenue. The decorative bargeboards have also been removed to reveal that this house may once have had roof brackets like those on 252 (not visible in the contemporary photographs).

The house a 258 is completely hidden in the contemporary view by a large evergreen in the front yard, but most of the front of 262 North Avenue can still be seen. This house still has its  side entry porch, but it appears that false shutters have been added at the windows. Just beyond 262, a bit of the porch of 266 can just be made out.



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