Intersection of Main and Pine Streets

Louis L. McAllister, circa 1930
Facing East

Sara Casten, October 2006
Facing East, 180641983E 4926287N UTM

Based on the cars in the photo, they have squared edges unlike the automobiles of the 1940s which were more rounded, and that the streetcar rails and wires are still visible, this photo was probably taken to document the road before it was paved.  Burlington began the slow process of paving the streets when the streetcars went out of service and the bus companies took over downtown transportation.  This dates the photograph somewhere between 1929 and 1933, when Main and Pine Streets had their work done.   

According to a 1926 Sanborn map the large three-story monumental style building to the left housed the storage for the city’s Painting Department.[1]  On the right side of the street is a side view of the Van Ness Hotel.  The style of the Van Ness Hotel makes it hard to date, and because it no longer exists it is not listed on the National Register.  It does possess a large cornice with brackets typical of an Italianate building, but the entablature over the windows is much more conducive of a federal style building, most likely it is a revival of eariler styles.  In the far background on the left there is an American Elm tree, which used to flank many of the Burlington streets until they succumbed to disease and were wiped out by the mid seventies.[2]  These trees are present in many of the photos taken during this time period.  On the far left is the Hotel Vermont which will be mentioned in subsequent photos where the structure is more visible.        


[1] Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington VT, 1926

[2] From a discussion with a longtime Burlington resident, William Gill, who grew up on South Willard Street.

The Painting Department Storage building is still standing and now houses several offices including: Steve Guild Design LLC, Ameriprise Financial, and many attorneys’ offices. Unfortunately the Van Ness Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1951 and in 1957 the Howard Bank built a new facility for their company designed by Freeman French Freeman.[3]  The building still stands today, as seen in the current photograph; however it is owned by TD Banknorth due to bank merging in 2004.[4] 


[3] Blow, 204

[4] Conversation with an employee at TD Banknorth








Return to Downtown 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