Corner of Main and Church Streets

Louis L. McAllister, April 1943
Facing Northeast

Sara Casten, October 2006
Facing Northeast, 180642157E 4926281N UTM

This documents the public works project to remove the old rails that were no longer in use.  In the 1930s the city had paved over most of the lines and had left the rails, in the early 1940s the department of public works decided to pull out the old rails.  The picture shows workers using jackhammers to break the pavement around the old rails.  The jackhammers were operated by trucks mounted with Chicago pneumatic air compressors.  One of the compressors is shown towards the right of the picture.[1] 

On the Church Street side of the photo Vermont Life Insurance Co. Building is the predominant structure in this photo, in 1943 the store front space operated “Upton’s Sandwich Shop.”  The Vermont Life Insurance Co. Building built in 1868[2], according the 1900 city directory it was sold to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company which by 1943 (when the picture was taken) had moved to 212-214 College Street.  Attorney Charles Black bought the building in 1927 and still owned it when the photo was taken.  The store front was occupied by a state Liquor Store in 1943.[3]


[1] Author Unknown, this is referencing the caption written on the back of the photo.

[2] Blow, 196

[3] Burlington City Directories, H.A. Manning, 1900 & 1927-1943

Most of the buildings have remained unchanged; “Upton’s” has been replaced by “Smokejacks.”  The biggest change is to Church Street itself; in 1979 several blocks of the street were closed to automotive traffic and opened as a pedestrian market place with a variety of shops and restaurants.  However, this did not affect Main Street, and it remains open to traffic as can be seen in the current photo.








Return to Dowtown Burlington, Vermont: Main Street

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