North Winooski Avenue from Pearl Street north to 103 North Winooski Avenue

Photo Pair 2

Viewable buildings: 26, 32, 38, and 42 North Winooski Avenue


Photographer:  Louis L. McAllister

Date:  November 20, 1928


A caption imprinted on the photo reads, “Laying 2” stones filled sheet asphalt on North Winooski Avenue”.  About 15 men are standing in front of a pick up truck that is pouring out the mixture of asphalt.  Many of the men are shoveling the rocks and asphalt, while three men appear to be overseeing the project.  There is also a steamroller ready to compress the freshly laid asphalt.  Supplies for the paving project line the sides of the street.  This section of the street is residential, with a mixture of Greek Revival and Queen Anne homes.  In this particular photo, starting from the lower right corner of the photo, number 26, 30-32, 38, and 42 can be seen.  26 North Winooski sits on the east side of the street, and is a Greek Revival house that was built circa 1850.(1)  A small building is evident on the 1853 map, but it is too small to determine if it is, indeed, number 26.  It is a three-bay, gable front home with side entrance covered by a small one-story entrance portico on the left bay.  Shutters flank the two-over-two windows.  This particular house received a lot of fame in the 1890’s with a connection to one of the 19th century’s most notorious serial killer.  During the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition, HH Holmes killed countless people in Chicago and a variety of U.S. cities.  Once detectives began to unravel his story, Holmes fled towards the east and wound up in Burlington, Vermont, a town that he had briefly attended medical school in the 1880’s.(2)  Holmes, with Carrie Pietzel, his hostage and wife of one of his victims, rented a house at 26 North Winooski Avenue in October of 1894.  Holmes rented the house from a woman by the name T.G. Richardson; after a few days Holmes left after getting in a fight with Mrs. Pietzel.(3)  Not too long after, Holmes was arrested in Philadelphia in November of 1894.  Though he was not here for a long time, HH Holmes brought a lot of attention to this street in 1895.(4)  At the time this photo was taken, Mrs. Margaret Aldrich resided here, and rented out rooms.(5)  30-32 was built as a two-family house; it is a two-story, five-bay Greek Revival house with double doors at the center to enter into each side and two-over-two windows.   Sometime between 1900 and 1906, a porch was added to the front; in McAllister’s photo, it appears to be of the Queen Anne style with the decorative posts and lattice.  The porch could have possibly been an addition by the 1902 residents, Joel Thomas, an engineer with the city who resided in #30, or Frank Thomas, a bookkeeper for Merchant’s Bank.(6)  Next to 30-32 to the north, is 38 North Winooski Avenue, a Queen Anne that was constructed in 1886 for William Livingston, an undertaker.(7)  However, the date in the gable of the front porch entrance reads 1885, but perhaps was completed in 1886.  By 1900, a bay window was added on the south wall, and when this photo was taken, the Sanborn lists as also being used as an office.(8)  In 1928, the house was used as an office and dwelling for Henry Wilder, MD.  This street was a popular area for doctors to live, as number 42 was home to Clarence Beecher at the time this photo was taken, a physician by profession, and also mayor of Burlington from 1926-1928.(9)  Number 42 is a Greek Revival home that was built circa 1845 and appears to be on the 1853 map.(10)  It is a two-story house with three bays and a side entrance.  In 1889, the house is very long with an attached shed, and by 1906 there was an addition on the south side for an office.(11)  The office was probably built for Harry Watkins, MD, who lived here at the turn of the century, and continued to be used by Beecher in the 1920’s and 1930’s.(12)  In 1926, the only change to 42 North Winooski is that the back shed disappears from the yard.(13)  Remaining features in McAllister’s photo is the elm trees line the street, but have lost their leaves for the winter, and reveal the electric poles line the west side of the street.

(1) Morschbach, C. Richard. “Historic Sites and Structures Survey – 26 North Winooski Avenue”.  Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1978.

(2) Blow, David.  Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods.  Volume 3.  Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003.

(3) “Holmes Connection to Burlington”.  Burlington Free Press July 17, 1895.

(4) Blow, David.  Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods.  Volume 3.  Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003.

(5) Burlington City Directory 1928 (Burlington, VT:  H.A. Manning, 1928)

(6) Burlington City Directory 1902 (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite & Co., 1902)

(7) 1888-89 Burlington City Directory

(8) 1900 and 1926 Sanborn

(9) 1928 Burlington City Directory and 1928 Annual Report

(10) Morschbach “42 North Winooski Avenue”

(11) 1889-1906 Sanborn Maps

(12) 1902 Directory

(13) 1926 Sanborn


Photographer:  Rebecca McNamara

Date:  December 5, 2005

UTM Coordinates:  18T 0642244 4926858

Standing in front of 15 North Winooski Avenue looking north


The most noticeable change from 1928 is the landscaping:  the large trees that towered over the roofs of the houses have died.  Smaller trees were planted, but much smaller than the large elms.  Utility poles are taller and line both sides of the street.  All of the houses are still standing, but minor changes have been made.  26 North Winooski Avenue no longer has shutters, and the brick is peeking through the blue paint that is now covering it.  There are two electric meters indicating that it is now two apartments, and the modern convenience of the window air conditioner has been installed in the center bay window on the 2nd floor.  By 1942, 30-32 North Winooski Avenue had been converted to apartments.(1)  For physical changes, the shutters have been removed and the exterior has been resided.  The first floor exterior is brick that has been painted yellow; the second floor has been resided with aluminum siding.  A gutter system has been added to the southern façade to drain storm water.  The porch has been painted white instead of the various colors it was in 1928.  For 38 North Winooski Avenue, there have been no structural changes and has retained virtually all of its Queen Anne detailing; however, it is in danger of deterioration and needs to be painted.  Number 42 has seen a few changes; in 1942 the demolished back shed appears to have been rebuilt, and the entire house was converted to apartments, which remain today.(2)  The streetcar tracks are completely gone and the street has been repaved (most likely a few times).  Trees have been planted to replace the large elms, but do not yet tower over the roofs of houses; they have grown up to approximately reach the 2nd story of these houses.  Since these houses now have multiple apartments, many people park on the street, which is a major difference from 1928, when not a lot of people had cars.

(1) 1942 Sanborn

(2) Ibid



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