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Chittenden County Courthouse (U.S. Post Office and Custom House)
This Beaux-Arts block was built to replace the relatively modest U.S. Post Office and Custom House (c. 1856, Ammi B. Young; demolished 1895) that once occupied the site. There is nothing modest about the marble pile that succeeded it. The three-story building has one of the most monumental facades in Burlington, if not in all of Vermont. The rusticated marble ground floor (originally the post office) sits above a granite basement and provides a base for the two upper floors. These are framed on the Main Street elevation by a portico of paired colossal Ionic columns that support a broad entablature and balustrade. Fine detailing in marble and iron-work enriches the entrances, echoed within by handsome woodwork carved by Albert Whittekind.
After the federal government vacated the building in 1960, it was used by the Vermont District Court and Army Reserve Center and then declared surplus. In 1973 Chittenden County acquired the structure, having outgrown its Second Empire third courthouse (1872, Edward C. Ryer; burned 1982) next door. The handsome building has found continued public life as the fourth Chittenden County Courthouse.
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