137 North Union Street

Rain-Platt House, circa 1850


By Walter L. Maros

This circa 1850 wooden sided house shares some of the stylistic features so popular in middle-class Greek Revival houses in Burlington during its period of construction, specifically its general massing as a two-and-a-half gable-ended house with the gable facing the street. Unlike number 64 N. Union Street, another wooden sided Greek Revival house, this house's gable is not pedimented and does not contain a peaked window. A more noticeable stylistic difference is that the other Greek Revival houses of the 1840's and 1850's in the neighborhood tend to have their windows vertically aligned, while number 137 N. Union Street is three bays wide on its first story and two bays wide on its second story, with the result that the windows of the first and second stories are not vertically aligned. In this regard, number 137 has a stylistic similarity to a nearby house, number 285 North Street, although the height of 285's roofline is lower and the headroom in its second story rooms is limited by the slant of the roof. Little is known about the early residents of number 137, J. Rain and Julia Platt, other than the appearance of their names on the city maps of 1853 and 1869, and they do not appear in the city directories. From 1880 to until his death in 1890, the house was the home of H.S. Lane, a harness maker, after which his son George, a candy maker, lived there. (1)

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