Burlington, Vermont
Early 20th-century Postcard Views

HP 206 Researching Historic Structures & Sites • 2012
Historic Preservation ProgramUniversity of Vermont

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Hotel Burlington, date stamped 1909. Postcard courtesy of Special Collections, UVM Bailey-Howe Library. 121-131 St. Paul Street looking west from City Hall Park, October 18, 2012. Photographed by Suzanne Mantegna.
The original three-story brick building was built for George Delaney in 1887. The architect was A. Carter. In 1896, the fourth story was added, providing living quarters for the staff.(1) There appears to have been stone lintels and sills, with four arched windows on the fourth floor under the pediment. There are awnings on every window and storefront. An arched doorway with a leaded glass fanlight marks the entrance to the hotel. The brick pilasters only extend to the middle of the fourth floor. The Sanborn maps indicate that the cornice was of frame construction.(2)
Hotel Burlington operated under George Delaney's ownership for almost 25 years, until a fire broke out on the afternoon of January 8, 1910. The fire quickly engulfed the top two floors. Fortunately, no one died. However, the firewall separating the Hotel Burlington from the Woodbury-Walker Block to its south was not built two bricks deep in places and the heat from the fire caused the bricks to crumble and the fire to spread to that building. The firemen were actually fighting the fire from this roof and had told the residents/store owners not to worry; so many hadn't removed any valuables when the fire breached the firewall. The firemen had to be rescued and the residents/shopkeepers lost almost everything.(3)
The owners of the Hotel Burlington and the Woodbury-Walker block quickly rebuilt their buildings. The Woodbury-Walker building renovations were completed by September of 1910. The street level remains shops and the upper floors were turned into 44 apartments. The exterior remained virtually unchanged. Falling on hard times, George Delaney had lost possession of the Hotel Burlington building before the fire and Max Powell, who would shortly build the Hotel Vermont and own the Van Ness House, was trustee.(4) When rebuilding the Hotel Burlington, the decision was made to turn the building into apartments. The building was sold several times and was known as the Huntington Apartments. In 1948, the Woodbury-Walker building and the old Hotel Burlington were purchased by the Vermont Transit Co., and combined into a 90- room hotel named the Huntington Hotel. Finally in 1978, the buildings were sold again and converted into 54 apartments.(5) Although the exterior retains the same massing of windows as the original, as well as the brick pilasters, the fourth story and gable were removed to make the 3-story brick building we have today. Another change to the exterior is that the arched entrance in the center of the building has moved slightly south, and neither building has awnings over the windows or storefronts.
1. David J. Blow, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, vol. 2 (Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1997), 204.
2. Ibid, vol. 3, 125-7.
3. Sanborn Insurance Maps for the City of Burlington, Vermont (Sanborn Map Company, 1900), sheets 21-3.
4. "Hotel Burlington and Walker Block are Smoldering Ruins," Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), January 13, 1910.
5. David J. Blow, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, vol. 3 (Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society, 2003), 125-7.
Researched by Suzanne Mantegna  
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