University Green Area Heritage Study

Historic Burlington Research Project - HP 206


28 South Williams Street

View of 28 South Williams looking east. Image: Rachel J Peterson.

The home at 28 South Williams has served as the residence of many people and medical practices over its history.  Originally the street was named Williams, but the house number has continually been #28.  Originally built in 1925 as the home of Mary McGreevy, widow of John McGreevy, she lived in the house with her daughter, a teacher also named Mary, for the first year.(1)  In 1926, she began taking on boarders when her daughter moved out, the first tenants being William Hitchcock, a worker at Moquin’s Bakery, and Louis Benedict, a factory worker.(2)  Boarders changed on a yearly basis.  The backgrounds of each renter varied immensely from factory workers to a district manager at IGA store to students at the University of Vermont.(3)  Few tenants stayed beyond a year and even those who did only stayed for maybe four years which speaks to the transiency of the population in that neighborhood at the time. 

The house was continually used as a rental, but in 1967, the house was completely vacant.(4)  In 1968, the street was renamed South Williams and the house was repurposed for commercial use.(5) A physician, John R Firgerald, moved his practice into the building.  That same year, Richard Reed, an orthodontist, also moved his practice to 28 South Williams Street.(6)  At the same time, the building was still being used as a rental residential property, housing students at UVM.(7)  Dr. Fitzgerald is the buildings longest running tenant, staying there from 1968-1978.(8)  After he left, other doctors also moved in. That tradition has continued and the building is currently used by Dr. Gene Moore and Dr. Chris Herbert. 

The physical structure of the building has remained fairly stable.  A garage was added to the property on the 1942 Sanborn Insurance map.(9)  There was also an additional half story added to the main structure also before 1942.(10)

Text: Rachel J Peterson

(1)Burlington and Winooski Vermont Directory (Springfield, MA: H. A. Manning and Co., 1925), 225.
(2)Burlington and Winooski Directory (Springfield, MA: H. A. Manning Co. , 1927), 408, 156, 40.
(3)Burlington and Winooski Directory (Springfield, MA: H. A. Manning Co., 1927), 40. ; Manning's Burlington, Winooski and Essex Junction Vermont Directory, (Springfield, MA: H. A. Manning Company, 1938), 90.
(4)Manning’s Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, and Essex Junction, Chittenden County, Vermont Directory, (Greenfield, MA: H. A. Manning Co., 1967), 753.
(5)Manning’s Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, and Essex Junction, Chittenden County, Vermont Director, (Greenfield, MA: H. A. Manning Co., 1968), 803.
(9)Sanborn Insurance Map, Sheet 33. Burlington, VT. 1942.