Burlington, Vermont
Early 20th-century Postcard Views

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

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U. S. Post Office and Custom House circa 1910. Postcard courtesy of Special Collections, UVM Bailey-Howe Library. Chittenden County Superior Court from the corner of Church Street looking southeast, November 14, 2012. Photographed by Suzanne Mantegna.
The Beaux Arts style post office is the second to stand at this site at the southeastern corner of Church and Main Streets. It opened in 1907 and was designed by U.S. Treasury architect, James Knox Taylor.(1) The three-story stone building has a rusticated stone main level with the second level windows covered with a simple projecting flat-topped hood flanked by paired Ionic columns on the façade. An accentuated cornice with dentil moldings and a flat roof with stone balustrade top the building. It was the home to the post office until it moved in 1960 to Pearl Street. The upper two levels are U-shaped, while the main level is rectangular. In 1929, a one-story brick addition was added to the rear of the building.(2) It was later home to the U. S. Army Reserve and in 1974 the county acquired it and the Chittenden Superior Court moved from the building pictured in the right of the postcard.(3) The previous Second Empire three-story brick post office was constructed in 1857, and was found to be too small for a quickly growing city.(4) The main entrance of the original post office was on Church Street; the 1907 post office moved the main entrance to Main Street. This building's exterior has not changed. The only changes are in the use of the building, the landscaping around the building, and the buildings visible on either side of the picture in the postcard are no longer there.


1. National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Databases. Accessed October 28, 2012, http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natregsearchresult.do?fullresult=true&recordid=36
2. Sanborn Insurance Maps for Burlington including Shelburne and Queen City Park, Vermont (Sanborn Map Company, 1935), sheets 2-4, 31.
3. David J. Blow, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, vol. 2 (Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society,1997), 193-4 .
4. Charles E. Allen, About Burlington Vermont (Burlington, VT: Hobart J. Shanley and Company, 1905).

Researched by Suzanne Mantegna