125-141 Manhattan Drive, Photo by Louis McAllister in 1939
Coordinates: 18T 0641460 UTM 4927555
This photo shows the old street sign at the intersection of Ward Street and North Bend (now Manhattan Drive). Just below the sign, one can notice the grass has been worn down due to pedestrian traffic. Beyond the street, a P.W.A. sign states that the construction is part of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works. The 1939 Burlington Annual Report devoted an entire paragraph exalting the virtues of this project:
“The North Bend Street P.W.A project is an improvement which has been needed for several years and is probably one that will be appreciated more by the general public than any other project during the year. Many of these streets were constructed in the section of the city known as Ferguson and Scarff Addition. This section of the city has increased in population and building developments much faster during the last few years than any other section of the city. With these added improvements and with practically all underground work previously completed there will undoubtedly be an increasing demand for the sale of building lots and the erection of moderate priced homes.”
Next to the sign, guardrails prevent access down to the ravine, and a large power pole connects lines across the street to 125-127, 135, and 141 North Bend.
125-127 North Bend is located at the intersection of three streets: Ward, Pitkin, and North Bend. The city directory first listed Joseph C. Barney living at this home in 1899. When it appeared on the 1906 Sanborn, it was labeled as 81 Ward Street. It wasn’t until 1922 that the home was switched over to its current address of 125-127. When the wrap around porch was added in the 1910’s, it echoed the craftsmen era with the four-sided tapered columns.The history of 135 and 141 are linked because they are architectural twins. They were both built in 1912 for Cornelius Ashline, a local farmer. He resided in both homes but at different times. Ashline was listed at 141 in 1912, but switched to 135 in 1914. He was not listed in either residence in 1915, but returned to 135 in 1916. After that, there was a steady flow of renters, with a few intermittent years where the properties were left vacant. The two story gable front homes were also unique in the building materials compared to the other houses in the area. The exterior walls were constructed with concrete blocks, smoothed with stucco, and then brick was applied under the eaves. These homes are easily identified in several of the October 1938 McAllister photos. The Burlington Annual report makes interesting remark about this project, “We were unfortunate enough to experience a sleet storm after having the crushed stone in place ready for penetration.”
1. Seventy-Fourth Report of the City of Burlington, Vermont (Burlington: Free Press Printing, 1939) 169.
2. Burlington City Directory Including Winooski & South Burlington (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co., 1899).
3. Burlington and Winooski, Vermont Directory (Springfield, Mass: H.A. Manning Co., 1922).
4. Burlington City Directory Including Winooski & South Burlington (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co., 1913).
5. Seventy-Fourth Report of the City of Burlington, Vermont (Burlington: Free Press Printing, 1939) 169.
125-141 Manhattan Drive, Photo by Julie Weisgerber in 2005
Today 125-127 Manhattan Drive is covered in siding. The wrap around porch had been enclosed on the second story, and the half wall with columns on the first story has been replaced by an open railing. Also the gable window had been removed. The twin houses stand today identical as ever. Any changes are hard to notice. The turned woodwork on the porch looks the same. The protruding brickwork on the water table has peeling white paint to suggest that someone recently painted it to match the trim. A modern street sign adorns the foreground, and now lists the street as Manhattan Drive. There is also a painted crosswalk. The barricade has been replaced with chain-link fences and trees.
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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