City Hall Park--Facing City Hall

Louis L. McAllister, June 1938
Facing East

Sara Casten, October 2006
Facing East, 180642067E 4926366N UTM

The series of photographs of city hall park document the paving project, in this picture workers are paving the walkway around the fountain; in the background is City Hall. 

According to David J. Blow the park fell into disarray in the 1870s because many people used the park as a cut through between Main and College Streets,  all the carriage traffic took its toll on the park and it looked like a “neglected sheep pasture” according to one Burlington resident.  The city decided to restrict passage through the park, and William L. Strong filled suit against the town.  Burlington won the case and then began to raise money to restore the park.  The city spent $1,400 to fix it up, and John Purple Howard added the cast iron fountain visible in the McAllister photo.[1]


[1] Blow, 47

The park has gone through several renovations, it would be neglected and then organizations would raise money to clean it up, this happened in 1975, 1993/94, and again in 2003.  This biggest project took place in the early 1990s when $300, 000 was spent on new lighting, walk ways, railings, benches, and other landscaping for the park.  A new reflecting pool was added and the original fountain was moved.  A new center piece was brought in for the pool; the seven-foot granite fountain originally located at the beginning of College Street was added.  This still stands today as can be seen in the current photo.[2]


[2] Blow, 48.  The reference to 2003 is from several articles from the Burlington Free Press, which cites the Rotary club as the current organization that took City Hall Park under their wing.  They did minor landscaping. 


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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