Art & Architecture at UVM - Sponsored by the University of Vermont Center for Teaching & Learning
   
Home
Art & Artifacts
bulletPublic Art & Monuments
bulletPortraits
bulletNotable Collections
Architecture
bulletBuildings
Campus Settings
Overlooked Gems
About This Site
University of Vermont
bullet Campus Map
bullet Walking Tour
bullet Fleming Museum
bullet UVM Art Department
Old Mill, 1824-25

  
Old Mill, Renovated, c. 2000
 
Old Mill is sited on the east side of the Campus Green, directly aligned with College Street and downtown Burlington. Erected in 1825, Old Mill replaced the original College Edifice, which was destroyed by fire on May 27, 1824. The College Edifice was begun in 1800 and completed in 1807. It was constructed of local brick and stood as Jeffrey Marshall has noted, as "both the literal and symbolic foundation of the University. The first building incorporated forty-eight dormitory rooms and in addition to classrooms, housed a chapel, a library, and a 'cabinet of curiousities'."

Almost a year to the date of the fire of 1824, a cornerstone was laid by the Marquis de Lafayette for the present building which we know as Old Mill. The building was in fact a series of three structures from which an impressive dome originally rose above the central building. These three separate buildings were connected in the late 1840's.

A minor fire in the early 1880's led to another renovation to the building which altered the earlier readable, classical geometry of the Federal style. The cost of the renovation, a composite revival style design by architect J.J Randall, was underwritten by Burlington businessman and philanthropist, John Purple Howard (whose portrait bust by John Hartley is prominently featured in the niche of the central portion of the building). With the replacement of the dome by a belvedere, the College Bell was removed, and is now placed to the south of the plaza in front of the Royall Tyler Theatre.

 
Campus Bell, c. 1830
Royall Tyler Plaza
 

A recent renovation to Old Mill, begun in the late 1990's, restored the building to its 1882 pristine condition. The renovation included upgrading classrooms, faculty offices and seminar rooms. It also connected the building with Lafayette Hall, forming one large newly refurbished and state of the art instructional facility. Old Mill houses the historic John Dewey Memorial Lounge, an architecturally impressive space that originally served as a chapel from 1825 until the erection of Ira Allen Chapel in 1827. Named after the distinguished philosopher/education, and UVM alumnus (1879) the Lounge houses Memorial plaques, stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Ballantyne, and portraits of UVM Presidents Wheeler, Smith, Torrey, and Buckham.