North Street at North Ave - McAllister Photo, Sept. 1930

The work crew was in the process of completing the paving on North Street when McAllister captured this photograph on September 4, 1930.  The caption on the photo states the paving was completed at noon that day.  The dump truck in the foreground can be identified by the detail on the passenger door stating, “C.L. Holcomb, Burlington, VT, Trucking, No. 6”.  It is dumping what could be hot tar from the steam rising from it.  This is being used to cover large gravel.  A steamroller and cart stand by to aid in the completion of the job.  In the immediate foreground, a suspended streetlight makes an appearance.  Beyond, to the right, is a flagpole and gas pump.  According to the 1938 Sanborn map, a gas station is located at the corner.  Utility poles line both sides of the street as far as one can see.  Automobiles are in the distance maneuvering around road barricades.  Two older men in suits lean against the fencing that surrounds #2 North Street (refer to other North Street pair) and a man in overalls and hat walks with a cane.  Another man in a suit seems to be putting something into the cart.  A man sits on the curb to the left while a child stands across the street next to a flagpole.  Some of the work crew are looking at McAllister as he captures them.

The buildings that line the left side of North Street are #12, #18/20, and #24/28.  According to the city directory of 1911, the building is vacant and by 1912, Charles Moss, a laborer, resided at the address. [1]   The city directories, beginning in 1917 until 1946, have different businesses such as a bakery and meat shop occupying the space.  The building continued to contribute to the commercial district of Old North End until c.1949 when the city directory of that year does not have the address listed.  The 1960 Sanborn map does not show the building footprint.

            #18/20 North Street was primarily tenement housing where people of the working class lived.  In the 1903 city directory, Hector Capistrand, a carpenter, occupies an apartment as well as Joseph Bisette, who works with bicycles and Peter Couture, a shoemaker.  The Sanborn map of 1900 first shows the building and continues to do so until 1960.

            #24/28 North Street began as a rectangular structure, as shown by the 1900 Sanborn map.  The 1912 Sanborn map shows the building as an irregular, almost trapezoid shape.  The building is also notable for its irregular roofline that can be seen in the McAllister photo.

            On the right side of the North Street, #17 and #31/33 stand out amongst the other buildings.  #17 North Street was first listed in the 1885 city directory with Peter Lynch, a night watchman, occupying the residence.  The city directories after this year continue to list Lynch as residing at this address until 1920.   

            A date stone adorning the front façade of #31/33 North Street states the building was constructed in 1906.  It was constructed as an apartment building and housed tenants of the working class. 


[1]           L.P. Waite & Company. Burlington City Directory. Burlington: L.P. Waite & Company, 1911-1912.



North Street at North Ave - K.Smith Photo, Oct. 2005

The present day photo, taken September 2005, shows a changed streetscape.  A parking lot part of a Sonoco gas station occupies the parcel where #2 North Street once stood.  Also a large modern building occupies where #12 North Street and #18/20 once stood.  The Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods states that the building was constructed in 1980 and was deemed “Burlington’s first solar office building.” [1]    The building at #24/28 North Street still remains and is, again, distinguishable by its irregular roofline.  In the foreground on the right side corner of North Street and North Avenue, the flagpole and gas pump are now gone.  A large brown brick commercial building now occupies the space.  In the distance, #31/33 North Street can be seen unchanged.

[1]           Blow, David. Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods Vol III. Burlington: Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003.





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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