North Winooski Avenue from Pearl Street north to 103 North Winooski Avenue
Photo Pair 1
Viewable buildings include: 6-8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 21 North Winooski Avenue
Photographer: Louis L. McAllister
Date: September 17, 1928.
This shows a street scene with houses on the left side of the photo, and a commercial block on the right side. Before this area was a commercial block, the Presdee and Edwards Map of 1853 shows this land area, which is the eastern side of North Winooski Avenue, as belonging to H. Whitney. According to the Burlington City Directory, Henry Whitney was a blacksmith at the corner of Pearl Street and Winooski Avenue and resided here with George Whitney.(1) After 1866, George Whitney used this land as a residence and a livery stable.(2) It is likely that these buildings were torn down to make way for the commercial buildings shown in the photo, which number 8 through 18. According to historian David Morschbach, number 6 and 8 were built together and were referred to as the Bergman Block.(3) The 1885 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows number 6 being built, and number 8 was being used as a furniture repair shop.(4) The directory lists the first occupant of number 6 as the E.N. Porter manufacturing extension; a College Street based business, which made parts for doors and screens.(5) It is a three-story Italianate building constructed in brick. The Bergman block sits adjacent to 10 North Winooski Avenue, a three-story Italianate building constructed out of brick. Morschbach lists this building as being constructed at the same time as the Bergman Block, and has similar scale, massing, and materials as number 8. Number 12 and 14 are also three-story Italianate buildings, but appear to have been built a few years later, circa 1900.(6) They are constructed of wood with brackets running along the cornice of the roof. The entire block caters to passers-by, with large retail windows advertising their services. The upper stories were used as multiple apartments or additional business space. Many businesses and residents came and left through here in the early 1900’s.(7) At the time this photo was taken, number 8 served as Gideon Thibodeau’s Barber Shop, and 8 ½ served as The Bluebird Home Cooking restaurant.(8) Number 10 was home to Rugoff Electrical Company, number 12 was James Mooney’s grocery store, 14 was vacant, 16 served as a butcher and the other side of 16 was Robert Goldman’s tailor shop.(9) Number 18 was established by subdividing number 16 sometime between 1906 and 1926; none of the building footprints changed during this time, only an interior wall was added on the first floor.(10) Across the street stands 21 North Winooski Avenue, a large Italianate house that was built circa 1879, and does appear on the 1885 Sanborn map.(11) The street scene is fairly typical of the 1920’s: lined with large elm trees overshadowing the power line poles, cars parked on both sides of the road, and a streetcar track running down the center of the road. It was a quiet day for this commercial area; the only sign of life is a little girl pushing a baby carriage stands in front of the barbershop.
Burlington City Directory (Burlington, VT: H.A. Manning 1914-1924)
Photographer: Rebecca McNamara
Date: December 5, 2005
UTM coordinates: 18T 0642243 4926787
Standing on the corner of South Winooski and Pearl Streets looking north
Since McAllister took this photo, subtle changes have occurred up until 2005. The commercial block has subdivided some of its space; number 8 put up a wall to make space for 8 ½. Number 21, the Italianate house, added a bay window on the southern façade, and constructed a small addition in the rear. Like many other houses on this street, number 21 was converted to apartments by 1978, and remains unchanged today.(1) A variety of businesses have been housed in this complex, some changing every few years.(2) However, in 1940, most of this commercial block was vacant, except for the barbershop that remained in number 8 and the grocery store in number 10; even the apartments were vacant.(3) Burlington was still affected from the Great Depression, and showed little improvement in 1940.(4) It wasn’t until 1948 when this commercial block experience economic improvement, and all buildings were occupied.(5) Currently, all of the buildings are occupied with businesses, and the new owners have had some work done to repair the facades in 2004, including introduction of awnings and a few new trees. Improvements to the road include ripping up the streetcar track and repaving. Streetlights were hung at the intersection of Winooski and Pearl, as it is a very busy intersection. In 1928, cars were parked on both sides of the street, indicating it was a 2-way road; it is currently a one-way street. There are now painted lines on the road to distinguish lanes at the intersection, one to turn left, one for going straight, and one for turning right. There are also fewer trees, probably due to the Dutch elm disease, which wiped out trees all across America beginning in the middle of the 2oth century.(6) The electrical poles are also taller and more slender, with fewer branches.
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