36 Pearl Street
Two McAllister photographs taken in circa 1934 show the intersection of Pearl Street and North Champlain Street lined with several large American elm trees (Ulmus americana). Click here to see the other image. Looking to the east, the trees create a shady residential setting with their upright, vase-shaped branching patterns. The majority of the trees appear to have a moderate diameter-at-breast-height (dbh) indicating they are 20 to 30 years old, with the exception of two younger elms at the far left which have a significantly smaller dbh. The trees are pruned to allow room for the overhead utility lines, which also line both sides of the street.
Pearl Street is wide, edged with a stone curb, and appears to be paved in asphalt with a small-sized gravel on the surface, judging from the wheel tracks visible on the street. Narrow sidewalks are located between the street and the residential houses. A wood paling fence edges the walk to the south (right) in front of a two-story frame dwelling. The photograph shows the facades of five houses, partially obscured by vegetation. On the left of the image is 38-40 Pearl Street and 42 Pearl Street farther east. On the right is 37-39 Pearl Street with 41-45 Pearl Street and 47 Pearl Street to the east.
38-40 PEARL STREET
38-40 Pearl is a two-story six-bay wood framed, duplex unit with a gable front roof. The building is sided with narrow wood clapboards and 1-over-1 windows appear to have dark colored shutters. A small, elevated, one-story porch with painted and turned posts and spindles and lattice is attached to the front of 38 Pearl. 40 Pearl also appears to have a similar porch, though set back some distance. This building in its current configuration is first seen on the 1853 map of Burlington, indicating that it was built between 1830 and 1853(1). A smaller building at the intersection of Pearl Street and North Champlain Street is shown on the 1830 map of Burlington by Ammi B. Young, but it is not known if the building shown on the map is the same as the building shown in the McAllister photograph(2). In 1869, the property was owned by N. Bacon who ran a store out of the building(3). In 1901, the building was occupied by F. J. Beaupre (38 Pearl) and Mrs. W.W. Bassett (40 Pearl)(4). By 1931, Louis Izzo operated a local grocery store out of 38 Pearl, while Mr. Albert C Brooks occupied 40 Pearl(5). In 1935, the store continued at 38-40 Pearl which was then connected to 44-46 Pearl via the one story brick addition(6). By 1942, George’s Cash Market, meats and provisions, occupied 38 Pearl and Mario R Izzo occupied 40 Pearl(7).
42 PEARL STREET
The building located at 42 Pearl is a two story, three bay, wood frame dwelling with a gable front roof with two small porches to the west and south. Examining the 1935 footprint of the building, a small rectangular one story brick addition to the west connected the building to the adjacent 38-40 Pearl property(8). In 1931, Edward J. Derochia occupied the building, but no longer resided in the building in 1942(9). The 1942 city directory lists Mrs. Jennie Duclos and George E Gonyo living in the building at 42 Pearl and 42-1/2 Pearl, respectively(10). By 1942, 42 Pearl demolished the brick addition and created a two-story wood frame porch(11).
37-39 PEARL STREET
37-39 Pearl is a two story, three bay, frame dwelling with a gable front roof and paired eave brackets. Windows are 1-over-1 with dark colored shutters, and the roof appears to be alternately banded with light and dark colored slate. A one story porch with columnar posts and lattice wraps around the house to the north and west. In 1830, the property contained a building at the corner of Pearl Street and Champlain Street, but it is not known if the building is the same structure(12). The building with a similar footprint noted as E. Rhone’s property shows up on the 1869 Beers map, indicating the building shown in the McAllister photograph was constructed by 1869(13). In 1901, Edward Flannery was listed as residing in the building, but in 1931, the building had two residents-- Ralph O. St. Peter (37 Pearl) and Mrs. Agnes B. O’brien (39 Pearl)(14). Prior to 1934, the property was encompassed with a paling fence, with stringers facing toward the outside to the adjacent streets.
In 1934, after Pearl Street paving improvements, the paling fence was removed, and a hedge of deciduous shrubs was planted along the property line. Two posts with circular signs were placed on either side of the driveway. The roof was also replaced, as the patterned banding of slate is no longer present in Photo 6. Also at this point in time, the building included three rectangular wood frame additions to the rear(15). Eleven years later, by 1942, 37-39 Pearl was converted to apartments, though the only residents listed in the building were Joseph L Berger (37 Pearl) and Harold G. Stowell (39 Pearl)(16).
41-45 PEARL STREET
Not much is known about 41-45 Pearl Street. The building at 41-45 Pearl is a two-story framed duplex dwelling, with a gable front hipped roof and a small central porch. The exact construction date is unknown, however, the building was constructed before 1901 when the 1901 city directory lists BO Foster, Frank H. Sweetland, Charles B Sabens, and Mrs Margaret E Patten as residents of the building (17). In 1931, the building had four residents including Charles A. Therrien (41 Pearl), Mrs. Bridget Demag and Mrs. Anna Morgan (43 Pearl) and Ernest C. Jones (45 Pearl)(18). By 1942, the building remained unaltered and housed four residents. Residents included Frank L Pecor (41 Pearl), Mrs. Georgia Remillard and Eva M Burns (43 Pearl), and Frederick E. DeForge (45 Pearl)(19).
47-49 PEARL STREET
The building located at 47-49 Pearl is a two-story, possibly three bay frame dwelling, with a porch running the full length of the building. The building also has a gable roof with two chimneys at the gable ends. 47 Pearl first shows up on the 1869 Beers map as part of the R. Tibbitts property, indicating it was constructed between 1853 and 1869(20).The building was vacant in 1901, but by 1935, the building contained a small store in the northwest corner with living space taking up the remainder of the floorspace of the building(21). Frank Casavant was the sole occupant of the building in 1931; however, by 1942, 47-49 Pearl had been enlarged through several additions(22). The store located in the building also enlarged, taking up half of the floorspace on the northern/streetside side of the building, while the rear half of the building was converted to apartments(23). However, Claude S Parks, veterinarian’s office and Claude S Parks were listed as the only residents in the building during this time(24).
(1) Presdee and Edwards Map. Burlington, Vermont 1853.
(2) A.B.Young Map. Burlington, Vermont 1830.
(3) Beers Map of Burlington Vermont. 1869.
(4) Burlington City Directory, 1901 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(5) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(6) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1926 with 1935 updates
(7) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(8) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1926 with 1935 updates
(9) Burlington City Directory, 1931, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(10) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(11) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1942.
(12) A.B.Young Map. Burlington, Vermont 1830.
(13) Beers Map of Burlington Vermont. 1869.
(14) Burlington City Directory, 1901, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(15) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1926 with 1935 updates
(16) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1942; Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(17) Burlington City Directory, 1901 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(18) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(19) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(20) Presdee and Edwards Map. Burlington, Vermont 1853; Beers Map of Burlington Vermont. 1869.
(21) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1926 with 1935 updates; Burlington City Directory, 1901 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(22) Burlington City Directory, 1931 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
(23) Sanborn-Perris Map. Burlington, Vermont 1942.
(24) Burlington City Directory, 1942 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).
10 North Champlain Street
Today the intersection of Pearl Street and North Champlain Street has changed. The shady residential block has evolved into a more open atmosphere with state-owned office buildings and a low-rise apartment building. The framed residential houses seen in McAllister’s photographs lined the street throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In January of 1959, the city of Burlington approved downtown renewal projects, which claimed 23 acres of private property along Pearl, Cherry, Bank, and South Champlain Streets(1). The residential houses were razed to rid of urban blight and provide room for the new urban renewal projects.
This portion of Pearl Street was effected by the urban renewal project as well. City residents who lost their homes were relocated in available housing throughout the city. To aid in relocating elderly displaced residents, the Champlain Apartment building seen at the left side of the photograph was constructed at 10 North Champlain Street. The six-story brick veneer building was designed by local Burlington architecture, planning, interior design firm, Freeman, French, and Freeman in 1966 and 1967(2). Today the building is owned and operated by the Burlington Housing Authority and provides apartments for lower-income elderly individuals over age 62 and individuals with disabilities. The building contains 50 one and two-bedroom apartments(3).
Across the street located at 39 Pearl Street, is the Vermont District Courthouse and State Office Building designed by Linde-Hubbard Associates of Burlington in 1968(4). The building is set back from the street and is not shown in the view. Though the buildings at the intersection of Pearl Street and North Champlain Street have changed, the street itself appears similar in its appearance with two-lanes of through traffic and two lanes of on-street parking. The American elms (Ulmus americana) once seen along the street with their distinguishing vase-shaped canopies were lost in the 1960s due to Dutch elm disease. Today the street is lined with columnar Norway maples (Acer platanoides) and a hedge in front of Champlain Apartments and smaller understory trees to the south in front of the state courthouse and office building. The lack of trees along the street creates an open environment with expansive sightlines to downtown Burlington, shown in the background of the image.
(1) A History of the Church Street Marketplace. www.churchstmarketplace.com/history.html 3 November 2006.
(2) Blow, David. Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, Vol. 1 (Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003); 38.
(3) (3) “Champlain Apartments.” Burlington Housing Authority. http://www.burlingtonhousing.org/
(4) Blow, David. Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, Vol. 1 (Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003); 38.
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