108 Cherry Street
Cherry Street in downtown Burlington is characterized by a wide expanse of pavement, bordered by two narrow concrete sidewalks which are flanked by commercial buildings to the north and south. The business district of downtown Burlington is quite dense with several two and three story buildings edging both sides of the street. Several buildings are seen in this photograph, but 108-114 Cherry, 115-117 Cherry, and the 1st Congregational Church are the most clearly defined. Many buildings shown in the photograph are located at the intersection of Cherry Street and Church Street, including the Sherwood Hotel on the left, marked by its dark vertical sign.
108-114 CHERRY STREET
108-114 Cherry is a three story four-plex frame building with a brick veneer(1). Though the full front façade is not shown in the photograph, the protruding bay windows are prominent features. A striped awning covers a doorway on the lower level. The exact construction date of this building is not known; however a building of similar size and footprint appears on the 1853 map of Burlington, so it is assumed that this building dates to the mid-19th century(2). After the turn of the century the building had five tenants includingEdward J. Thomas, Joseph Sullivan Miss Eliza Mattimore, Eds. Dwyer, and John H. Drew(3). By 1931, the building was listed as the Dwyer Block in the Burlington City Directory. It contained two stores including a second hand store operated by George L. Lavalley and a meats/butcher shop operated by Archie R. LaBounty. Other residents in the building at that time included Mrs. Susan Dwyer, Burt H. Isham, and Alfred J. Shanks(4).
Almost a decade later, Archie R. LaBounty’s meat shop remained in the building. New businesses in the Dwyer Block in 1942 included OBoyle’s New & Used Furniture and Ann’s Beauty Shoppe. New residents included Henry Brunelle, Jr,, Arthur J. Boothman, Mrs. Bertha A. Black, Mrs. Ann G. Blake, and Raymond H McGee(5).
115-117 CHERRY STREET
The building located at 115-117 is a three story, six bay frame building with brick veneer. Two hanging signs are noted on the front façade of the building reading, “The Salvation Army” and “Silver [unidenfiable word] Inn.” Constructed in two stages, the western part of the building (115 Cherry) was built first around the late 1800s. This portion of the building contains three bays, divided by slightly protruding brick piers. Three windows are evenly spaced on the second and third floors, with the second story, central bay containing a protruding bay window. Four 1-over-1 windows are seen on the west façade, on the right side of the image. The eastern half of the building (117 Cherry) was probably constructed at a later date due to the differences in fenestration on the three bay section. Though 117 Cherry has the same arched and protruding bay windows, the rhythm and proportion of the window placement and lack of projecting brick piers differentiate it from 115 Cherry. The two sections of the building are tied together with a bracketed Italianate cornice that was probably added at the time of completion of 117 Cherry to unify the two facades. In 1901, 115 Cherry is listed in the Burlington City Directory as the LaFayette House occupied by Fred A. Degree(6). 117 Cherry is not listed at this time, indicating it was constructed post-1901. In 1931, James E Gannon resided in 115 Cherry, while the Salvation Army and Harold Snowden occupied 117 Cherry(7). The Salvation Army continued to occupy the building into the early 1940s, while 115 Cherry was vacant(8).
1st CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Terminating the east axis of Cherry Street is the 1st Congregational Church with a prominent façade composed of a portico and steeple in the Greek Revival style. Positioned on South Winooski Avenue, the church is located on the former site of the Old White Church, which dated to 1812, but burned in 1839. At that time South Winooski Avenue was called “White Street” named after the Old White Church, which once stood at the east end of Cherry Street(9).
The 1st Congregational Church was designed by Henry Serle and built in 1842(10). The original design of the church included five bays, marked by white Ionic columns of the portico to contrast with the red brick bearing walls and stone foundation(11). Several additions and alterations to the building of the years have changed the church. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the congregation, the building was enlarged by adding a sixth bay in the Ionic portico(12). In the 1930s, the parish expanded the church again by adding an addition to the east to connect the adjacent chapel and vestry to the church. During this time, the building also underwent a Colonial style renovation. (13).
(1) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1926 with 1935 updates.
(2) Presdee and Edwards Map. Burlington, Vermont 1853.
(3) Burlington City Directory, 1901 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(4) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(5) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(6) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(7) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(8) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(9) Beers Map of Burlington Vermont, 1869.
(10) First Congregational Church Building, 1842-1992, (Burlington, VT: First Congregational Church, 1992), p. 3, and Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey, South Winooski Avenue, (Montpelier, VT, Division for Historic Preservation, n.d.).
(11) First Congregational Church Building, 1842-1992, (Burlington, VT: First Congregational Church, 1992).
(12) First Congregational Church Building, 1842-1992, (Burlington, VT: First Congregational Church, 1992).
(13) Blow, David. Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, Vol. 1 (Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003).
108 Cherry Street,
Though Cherry Street today is characterized by expansive paving, adjacent sidewalks, and flanking buildings, the scene of the streetscape has been significantly altered. Very few buildings pictured in the McAllister photograph remain today. Impacted by the urban renewal project of the late 1950s and 1960s, 108-114 Cherry Street and 115-117 Cherry Street were demolished as part of the project. Older, unsightly buildings were razed to rid of urban blight and to create space for redevelopment projects. Today the John Zampieri State Office Building stands at 108 Cherry Street, while Old Navy of the Burlington Town Center and the Cherry Street CCTA Bus Terminal occupy the site of the former 115-117 building.
As part of the urban renewal project of the 1960s, redevelopments were sought that increased retail and commercial space in the downtown business district. Prior to 1979, Burlington Square Mall, now called Burlington Town Center, was constructed(1). The development provided an additional 150,000 square feet of retail and commercial space to downtown Burlington(2). Throughout the 1980s, redevelopment of the business district continued as the Church Street Marketplace was designed and constructed. The colorful banners of the Church Street Marketplace are seen at the intersection of Church and Cherry Streets.
Another aspect of the urban renewal project was the creation of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) to increase public transportation in downtown Burlington and throughout Chittenden County, in hopes of drawing residents and visitors to the newly redeveloped area(3). Today, the CCTA is still in operation, using the Cherry Street bus station as its main hub. The buses operate on a “pulse system” in which all buses depart from the terminal at the same time and return at relatively the same time.
(1) A History of the Church Street Marketplace. www.churchstmarketplace.com/history.html 3 November 2006.
(2) A History of the Church Street Marketplace. www.churchstmarketplace.com/history.html 3 November 2006.
(3) A History of the Church Street Marketplace. www.churchstmarketplace.com/history.html 3 November 2006.
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