284 East Ave
1958, Julian Goodrich Architects
Police Service & Physical Plant Department
Architect Julian Goodrich completed this International style building in 1958. Cummings Construction Company contracted the project. Originally built for the city of Burlington as the Ethel P. Mildram Nursing Home,the structure is located at 284 East Avenue. The city commissioned the building to provide a convalescent facility for the poor that would serve to lessen the burden on local hospitals.
In 1974 it was conveyed to The University of Vermont and remodeled for use as the University Health Services and Infirmary, which had previously been located in Wheeler House. In 1985 Health Services moved to the Rehabilitation Center on South Prospect Street, and 284 East Avenue became the headquarters for the Physical Plant Department and Police Services.
A balanced yet asymmetrical massing characterizes the building’s modified H-shape with two longer wings stretching north and south and a connector running east to west between each wing. The building utilizes industrial steel and reinforced concrete in a skeletal structural frame, representing a universal construction method suitable for the post-war modern world.
While somewhat austere, the low-lying, sprawling structure, rests against a sloping plane in the landscape and is lined with Vermont slate spandrels, thus softening the buildings appearance. However, the large, ribbon windows encasing the building and the unadorned red-brick end walls ultimately reinforce the original utilitarian purpose of 284 East Avenue. Today some slight rust on the building’s steel beams is the only sign of wear.
Devin Coleman, Modernist Architecture in Burlington,Vermont. Masters Thesis 2006. University of Vermont Library Special Collections.
Researched by: Matthew Holtkamp
graduate student, Historic Preservation Program, University of Vermont, 2007