119 North Union Street

Stephen Whitney House, circa 1850


By Walter L. Maros

In the 1840's and 1850's a particular Greek Revival look was popular in Burlington for house builders of the time, namely a two-and-a-half story, three-bay wide brick house with a pedimented gable facing the street, and a peaked window in the gable. Houses of this type can be found in Burlington neighborhoods that predate the Civil War, including numbers 11 and 52 N. Union Street. The look of number 119 N. Union Street, built circa 1850, largely adheres to this popular design, but departs from the expected pattern in a few ways: the house is two rather than three bays wide, the gable facing the street is not pedimented, and the entrance is on the side rather on the front. While these differences make number 119's design somewhat simpler than its peers, the builder's motivation for simplicity may have been aesthetic rather than economic: the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation's survey of N. Union Street notes that this was one of the largest houses on the street at the time of its completion. The house was occupied by Stephen Whitney, occupation unknown, circa 1853-70. From 1889 to 1902 it was the residence of the Rev. George Arms, and from 1902 to 1924 it was the home of William Hoag, who operated a restaurant on Church Street. (1)

(1) Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey: Burlington ­ North Union Street.