The most striking of Vermont's Classical Revival public schools is this one built on the eve of the Great Depression. Since 1861 the high school had occupied the handsome Italianate Franklin County Grammar School building (now the Historical Society) on the site of the town's first school overlooking Taylor Park. After six decades, the school had outgrown the venerable building and its much-used Academy Hall was outmoded. When a fifty-year trust established by railroad magnate Hiram Bellows came due in 1929, the community decided to use it for a new building on the site of Bellows's former home. William H. McLean of Boston designed a grand structure to accommodate 500 students. The three-story brick facade with stone trim is organized with a central entrance pavilion and slightly projecting end bays. The center of the facade, with triple entrance doors, is marked by colossal Corinthian columns that carry an entablature topped by a stone-framed clock. The classical vocabulary carries to the interior as well, where an entrance with engaged Corinthian columns, a Greek key frieze, and a marble statue of Mercury opens into a two-story auditorium lined with Corinthian pilasters and light fixtures incorporating classical urns and figures. These features are surprisingly intact, and the school retains its original exterior aspect, not affected by later additions carried out at the rear.
You are here
Bellows Free Academy
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.