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Batchelder and Brown House

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1906. 39 Franklin St., City of Winooski
  • (Alan P. Lampson)

This modest, two-and-a-half-story house is the earliest, and most typical, example of the use of concrete block in house construction in Vermont. As the American Woolen Company continued to expand in Winooski and demand for housing increased, partners Rylan Batchelder and Frank Brown subdivided the land that now is upper Franklin and Russell streets and advertised the lots as “Winooski Heights.” They installed a machine for making concrete blocks on this lot and built this economical model home. They made use of what was advertised nationally as “artistic” concrete block, with molded faces to simulate rough-faced stone on the first-story front and quoins on the second story. Although a second-story oriel window on the gabled front and nine-over-one sash windows give the small house a dash of Queen Anne style, Batchelder and Brown did not receive any commissions for concrete-block houses on any of the lots they sold.

A few examples of early-twentieth-century concrete-block foursquare houses and duplexes can be found in most of the larger villages in Vermont, but its use for residential construction was never widespread. The relatively inexpensive construction material was also used for Holy Cross Church (1914) in Colchester, St. Edward's Catholic church (1927) in Williamstown, the grange in South Royalton (1911), Chandler Music Hall in Randolph (1907), and industrial buildings, including the Sweat-Comings furniture factory (1904–1905) in Richford and the ammunition manufactory in Swanton (1914–1919), all extant.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


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Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Batchelder and Brown House", [Winooski, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 168-168.

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