there was a Redstone Campus, there was a Buell estate home to some
of the most impressive lumber-baron-built architecture from Burlingtons
19th century. While theres a good deal more to Redstone circa 2003,
Andrew Addison Buells home, stable, and gardeners cottage
still stand at the center of this part of campus, much of their original
splendor intact. University photographer Sally McCay, a collector of antique
cameras, appropriately packed a vintage 1924 Kodak Brownie to capture
the Buell buildings today.
Burdett didnt have to look far for the right building materials. Redstone (Monkton Dolomite to you geologists) was both dramatic and abundant. Willards Quarry off Shelburne Road, now a UVM natural area, was the source for Redstone Halls exterior. But once the same stone was discovered on the property, the rock for the carriage house/stable, now Robinson Hall, was quarried directly from the estate. Take a walk around the campus today, and youll still find plenty of redstone cropping up through the grass.
The University of Vermont came into the picture in 1921. Post-World War I enrollment increases, particularly the growing influx of female students, drove demand for more space. When the 66-acre Buell estate went on the market (a steal at $47,000), need met opportunity. The family home and the stable were soon converted into womens dormitories. (Well leave it to those more qualified to analyze why the women students had the longest walk to classes. But alumni from the 1950s may recall that on winter days when the mercury dropped below zero, the dress code was kindly loosened to allow women to wear slacks.)
Hall, the centerpiece, underwent an extensive renovation last summer;
new light fixtures and interior paint are true to the era the building
was built. Ornately carved woodwork and tile fireplaces have weathered
the years well, and peacefully co-exist with the occasional muddy mountain
bike in the foyer. Living in a mansion with lake views is one of the attractions
for student residents, the other is a special Residential Life program
that unites them in a shared commitment to a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.
With 32 college students living there, its a bit more crowded than
in the Buell familys day. Yet, among the enduring beauties of Redstone
Hall is the fact that after 114 years, it is still a house that people
proudly call home.