University Green Area Heritage Study

Historic Burlington Research Project - HP 206


34 South Williams Street

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The earliest evidence of construction of 34 South Williams Street is found in the 1926 city directory, where the property is listed as “under construction”. [1]   This Colonial Revival style structure is a three by three-bay block that is 2 1/2 stories high. The exterior of the house has red brick and a large arched window that highlights its staircase on the northern side with three light brick window lintels. The roof is hipped and covered in slate and extends downward to the southern elevation to cover the extended plan of the first floor. There is a pent roof across the front facade, supported by ornate wooden brackets that incorporate the pediment design above a central entranceway and fanlight. The brickwork around the entrance and side windows is detailed, while the windows have a six-over-one sash, except for the dormers on the first level of the front facade.       

            Mrs. Mary E. Murray was the first resident of the new home. She was listed in the 1927 city directory as a student at the University of Vermont. [2] In 1928, Mrs. Mary A. Murphy, widow of Thomas Murphy, occupied the house. By 1937 the house was being lived in by the Gage family. [3] The home remained under their ownership until September of 1947 when it was transferred to the Bishop DeGoesbriand Hospital, Inc. [4] Aldo Francheschi and his wife Esther purchased the house from the Hospital in November of 1947. [5]   Aldo Francheschi was a doctor at the Bishop DeGoesbriand Hospital, as well as a professor at the University of Vermont. [6] After less than two decades of ownership, Francheschi sold the home to Nancy Fearing in 1962. [7] The home stayed in the Fearing family for over a decade until it was occupied by a variety of tenants with an annual turnover. During the 1980s, 34 South Williams Street became the home of the University of Vermont Dean of Students. [8] In 1988 the University of Vermont officially purchased the home and today it is the University Women's Center. [9]

            Located on the southeastern corner of the 34 South Williams Street property sits a brick one car AppleMark
garage (image on right). The structure is two by two bay square block with the entry facade-facing north. It is accessible from the concrete paved driveway along the north side of the house. The garage mimics many stylistic features of the adjacent Colonial revival home. These can be seen on its two six-over-one sash windows located on the garage’s eastern elevation, as well as its shingle, hipped roof. First appearing on the 1926 Sanborn map, the garage must have been constructed shortly after the main house and it still remains on the property today. [10]

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34 South Williams Street Entrance Facade


Photos and text by Lisa Crompton

[1] Manning’s Burlington Winooski and Essex Junction Directory 1926 (Springfield: H.A. Manning Co. Springfield, 1942).

[2] Manning’s Burlington Winooski and Essex Junction Directory 1927 (Springfield: H.A. Manning Co. Springfield, 1942), 340.

[3] City of Burlington Land Records (vol. 108), 614.

[4] City of Burlington Land Records (vol.129), 184.

[5] City of Burlington Land Records (vol.129), 129.

[6] Manning’s Burlington Winooski South Burlington and Essex Junction Directory:1951 (Springfield: H.A. Manning Co.,1951), 114.

[7] City of Burlington Land Records (Vol.164), 21.

[8]   Burlington City Directory 1978 (Bellows Falls: H.A. Manning Co., 1978), 432.

[9] Burlington City Directory 1984 (Bellows Falls: H.A. Manning Co., 1984), 475.

[10] 1926 Sanborn Insurance Map of Burlington (New York: Sanborn Map Company, 1926)