Church Street looking North toward Pearl Street

UTM: 18 0642134 E, 4926737 N 234 feet

L.L. McAllister
c. 1940

A.L. Bushey
October 15, 2006

McAllister took this photo looking North at the head of Church Street prior to 1943, illustrating the washing of the cement pavement and streetcar tracks.

The building on the left is the Masonic Temple Building, a Romanesque structure erected in 1898 by the Free Masons.  According to the 1942 Sanborn Map Company insurance map for the city of Burlington, the building was constructed of steel posts and beams and equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.(1)

The building at the center of the photo is the Unitarian Church, which proudly dominates all North-facing viewpoints of Church Street from Main to Pearl.  The Unitarian Church was built in 1816.(2)

The right hand building was constructed in 1894 with street front retail space and apartments above.  Upon opening, a portion of this retail space was let by the H.W. Allen & Company clothing retailers.(3)

(1) Insurance Map (1942).

(2) Shannon, 69-70.

(3) Shannon, 69-70.

The Masons no longer own or occupy the Masonic Temple building, having removed to another Burlington location.  Ground floor retail space is currently occupied by an Ann Taylor clothing store.  The Unitarian Church still stands at 152 Pearl Street, continuing it’s nearly 200 year watch over Vermont’s largest city.  The H.W. Allen & Company continued to occupy the building on the right, though it expanded and changed names, becoming Abernethy’s department store and occupying the first three floors.  The 1942 Sanborn map refers to this building as the Abernethy Building, noting the importance and standing of this company.  Abernethy’s closed in 1982, after which NBC filmed a Christmas movie, made for television, on location here.  Today, businesses occupy ground floor commercial space with office space in the floors above.(4)  

(4) Shannon, 70.

Historic Burlington Project
Depression Era Streetscapes: Old North End | 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 University of Vermont Library Special Collections, Louis L. McAllister Photograph Collection