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

Photo Pair 8

Viewable Buildings: 52, and 54-58 North Winooski Avenue

Photographer:  Louis L. McAllister

Date:  circa 1935


This photo does not have an exact date, but it is looking southeast at 58, 56, 54, and 52 North Winooski Avenue.  It may be a later photograph than the others taken of this street in 1928 and 1929, as it introduces of his professional imprint that appears in the bottom right hand corner.  In 1853, a square lot is carefully laid out on the map at the corner of Winooski Avenue and a nameless street.  The lot contains two buildings:  a very small building that faces what is now Grant Street, and a larger square building, that corresponds with 52 North Winooski Avenue.  52 North Winooski Avenue was built circa 1840s for the home of Judge Torrey Wales.(1)   It is a five-bay front gabled brick Greek Revival house with central entrance.  The side seen from the McAllister’s photo shows that the house is three bays wide, and that there is a prominent granite stringcourse.  The cross gable and the decorative verge board in the gable eaves are elements of the gothic period, and were probably added at a later date.  Judge Torrey Wales was a prominent probate judge from 1862-1898, and he was mayor of Burlington in 1867-68, and state representative in 1868-69.(2)  By 1926, the house had been converted to apartments, and in 1928, Edward Hart, Jennie Green resided here and there was one vacancy.(3)  Next door to the north are 54, 56, and 58 North Winooski Avenue, seen in the McAllister photograph as a service station.  Before this was a gas station, it was a grocery store connected to a house and it was a completely different building.  The grocery store was last seen on 1906 Sanborn Map as numbers 54 and 56, and was a long rectangular building, similar to 61 North Winooski Avenue seen in photo comparison 7.  The house, by footprint on the 1906 map, abuts the grocery store to the north on the corner of Grant and North Winooski, and appears to have been a Queen Anne style house with irregular plan and projecting windows.   According to the directory, the grocery store survived until 1933 as E.S. Spears Co.  In 1934 the lot was vacant, and 1935 saw the emergence of Tide Water Sales Co, a filling station of the Tide Water oil group.(4)  Therefore, this photograph was most likely taken after 1934 when it was converted to a filling station.  The filling station is catty-cornered facing northwest, set far back to create space for cars to fill up with gas.  It is a simple brick garage with two bay garages on the right side, and a small door and window on the left.  A central dormer projects from the roof and offers a small ventilation system in the center of the gable.  There are two pumps for filling up on gas; the gasoline is Tydol.  Signs adorn the parking lot, enticing travelers to fill up on Tydol gas and to outfit their cars with Good Year Tires.  Behind the garage to the east is a three-bay Greek Revival that fronts Grant Street, but was not part of this survey.  Large power lines tower over the gas station.  One large elm tree stands on the west end of the property and shades the parking lot.

(1) "Old North End Walking Tour”.  Preservation Burlington.  5 November 2005. 

(2) Morschbach, “52 North Winooski Avenue”.

(3) 1928 City Directory

(4) 1935 City Directory


Photographer:  Rebecca McNamara

Date:  December 5, 2005

UTM Coordinates:  18T 0642234 4927011

Standing in front of 61 North Winooski Avenue looking south


The building looks remarkably the same from when the McAllister shot was taken, considering the gas station burned down on February 18, 2003 under the ownership of Vantage Automotive.(1)  Vantage Automotive rebuilt the structure almost exactly as it was in the 1930’s, except the gabled dormer is white now, instead of the original brick.   According to the pictures, they get more business now than they did in the 1930’s, likely increased by the increased use of automobiles over the years.  For 52 North Winooski Avenue, in 1942 the back of the house served as a tire repair shop, which could have resulted from the vacancy of the filling station.(2)  By 1978, number 52 had expanded towards the back to create more apartments.(3)  These two properties, although changed quite a bit over the years, appear to have remained almost unchanged between 1935 and 2005.  The major differences today are vibrant colored signs for advertising, and virtually no trees exist on the property in the 2005 view of this area.

(1) Burlington Free Press 2/18/2003

(2) 1942 Sanborn

(3) 1978 Sanborn



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