University Green Area Heritage Study

Historic Burlington Research Project - HP 206


438 College Street

Built in 1908, 438 College Street is a three-story structure built in the Colonial Revival style. The main façade is five bays wide and the primary block is three bays deep, with an addition that is three bays by three bays, attached by a two-story glass corridor. Constructed of red brick and ornamented with stone lintels, portico, porte-cochère and modillions, the building has a long history of serving as a residence before coming under the care of the University of Vermont.

438 College Street, Burlington, VT, 2011. Photo by Lucy Hamer

The first inhabitant of the property was Edward J. Booth, manager of JR Booth and President of Chittenden Country Trust Company.(1) Moving to the property in 1909 from his previous residence at 115 North Union Street in Burlington,(2) Booth was a prominent public figure, including being manager of the Burlington High School baseball team.(3)

Booth continued to live at the property until 1944, when only his wife, Ina V. Booth, is listed as the sole resident, widowed.(4) Ina Booth lived alone at the property until at least 1949,(5) but was definitively no longer a resident by 1951, as the property was then listed as being the Holy Family Convent under the guidance of Superior Mother Collins.(6) Over the course of the next forty-five years, the property was affiliated with several organizations, all part of the Burlington Roman Catholic Diocese. These organizations include the Sisters of the Religious Hospitalers of Saint Joseph,(7) Saint Joseph's Convent,(8) and the Daughters of Charity.(9)

The property was nearly incorporated into the UVM campus long before its official 1997 acquisition. In 1962, under the stress of serving multiple denominations on campus, a plan was proposed to convert the property into a Catholic Chapel, under the guidance of Bishop Joyce. The Bishop and the Consultant on Religious Programs both agreed that this idea was cost efficient and would provide a "choice location" for a Catholic Chapel for students, all that they needed to do was "relocate the sisters now living there." Unfortunately for Bishop Joyce, the leaders of the Protestant, Jewish and Episcopalian communities were less desirous of building on campus, and thus the consultant advised President Fey to abandon the entire project. Instead, it was decided to "continue struggling along" with Ira Allen Chapel for all services.(10)

In 1997, the sisters were relocated and the property was acquired by UVM.(11) Since then, the building has served as the administrative offices of the College of Arts and Sciences for the university.(12) In July of 2007, renovation projects were completed, including a large addition on the northern side of the building. Led by Black River Design Architects, the building was brought to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The building is also certified Gold in the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The aesthetic of the original structure is maintained by reuse of many of materials; 90% of structural and exterior elements and 60% of the interior was reused.(13)

It was during this renovation that the garage behind the structure was demolished. It is unclear exactly when the garage was built, but maps from 1974 and 1997 confirm its existence.(14, 15) The garage was either not present or unaccounted for on earlier maps that were available. It is in the place of the garage that the addition to 438 College Street was constructed. The size, orientation and setting on the garage are apparent on a boundary survey from 1974 (Figure 2), showing the entire property while still under the ownership of the Burlington Diocese. It is possible that the Diocese was responsible for the construction of the garage, as it is unlikely that it was built during the time the Booth family resided on the property.

Boundary Survey 1974. Courtesy of UVM Campus Planning Services

Text by Lucy Hamer

(1) Burlington City Directory 1909 (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite and Co., 1909), 79.
(2) Burlington City Directory 1908 (Burlington, VT: L.P. Waite and Co., 1908), 76.
(3) Burlington High School Baseball Team, 1935, Louis L. McAllister Collection, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
(4) Burlington City Directory 1944 (Springfield, MA: H.A. Manning Co., 1944), 38.
(5) Burlington City Directory 1949 (Springfield, MA: H.A. Manning Co., 1949), 263.
(6) Burlington City Directory 1951 (Springfield, MA: H.A. Manning Co., 1951), 143.
(7) Burlington City Directory 1956 (Springfield, MA: H.A. Manning Co., 1956), 308.
(8) Burlington, Vermont City Directory 1989 (Burlington, VT: Johnson City Directories, 1989), 71.
(9) Catalist Business and Household Digest of Burlington 1992 (Johnson City Directories, 1992), 583.
(10) Letter from the Consultant on Religious Programs to President Fey, April 21, 1962, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library
(11) NYNEX Yellow Pages 1996/7, (Burlington, VT: NYNEX Information Resources Co., 1996/7), 63.
(12) "Campus Photo Tour: 438 College Street," University of Vermont, accessed October 15, 2011,
(13) "Completed Projects: Renovation of 438 College Street," University of Vermont, accessed October 15, 2011,
(14) Boundary Survey 1974, Drawing Drawer 9, Drawing 31, Courtesy of Campus Planning Services.
(15) Plans at Acquisition 1997, Drawing Drawer 9, Drawing 331, Courtesy of Campus Planning Services.