The house built for wholesale merchant and railroad builder Timothy Follett is Ammi B. Young's earliest known, extant work in Burlington, though it came only after the architect had left town. In 1831, at the age of thirty-one, Young arrived in the booming port of Burlington from Lebanon, New Hampshire, advertising himself in the Free Press (May 10) as a “joiner, carpenter, mechanist, or as a practical draughtsman” with eighteen years of experience. Within the year he was engaged in building the United States Bank of Burlington; he published a detailed “Plan for Burlington Village”; and he submitted designs that led to his commission for the Vermont State House in Montpelier (WA20). Other Burlington-era works included a Congregational Church for Winooski (destroyed) and undoubtedly houses as well, but none are known until after his 1837 move to Boston. The completion of Young's showy Follett House in 1841 and of his soberly elegant Wheeler House (442 Main Street) in 1842 indicates that Burlingtonians of means remained in touch with their famous former townsman.
The Follett house is set dramatically above what once was an entire block of sloping gardens overlooking Lake Champlain. Originally red brick, the temple-form house had two principal fronts. The sober eaves-side facade on College Street is in three broad bays defined by paired colossal pilasters and a slightly advancing central panel. A one-story pedimented Ionic portico screened a recessed entrance framed by columns in antis. The west-facing garden front is a five-bay temple portico with colossal Ionic columns and a full-width cantilevered iron balcony that affords spectacular views across the lake to the Adirondacks beyond.
Subsequent private owners painted the brick and added an Italianate belvedere prior to the 1880s, after which the house was occupied by charitable and service organizations. Gutted by fire in 1979, it was saved from demolition by Antonio Pomerleau, who commissioned its restoration by the Preservation Partnership of Natick, Massachusetts, for use as corporate offices for his real estate agency.