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Main Street Business Blocks

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1869–1895. East side of Main St., between S. Park Pl. and Liberty St., Fair Haven village
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

Off the southeastern corner of the Fair Haven green, Main Street jogs east of E. Park Place to create a block-long, L-shaped row dominated by three-to-four-story commercial blocks that form one of the most striking small-town business districts in the state. In spite of alterations at street level, the upper floors of these buildings display a range of styles that reflect the prosperity of post–Civil War Fair Haven and the materials that made the prosperity possible. The row also reflects the sequence of fires and rebuildings that took place on the block. The overall grouping is significant for its coherence and scale, while individual examples are noteworthy for their textures, structure, and surface organization. The Green Block (1869; 85–87 Main Street), with its cast-iron shop fronts, shaped marble lintels, and scroll-sawn brackets, is basically Italianate. It gained stained glass transoms and a patterned frieze with the addition of a top floor in 1892. The Calvi-Mallory Block (1888; 55–62 Main Street) uses slate for its Gothic-styled blind arcade at the cornice, continuous belt courses, and arched window heads. The rusticated marble of 51–53 Main Street (c. 1895) has a sophisticated rhythmic organization and textural patterning that suggests the impact of the late commercial work of H. H. Richardson. The Richard and William Lloyd blocks (49 and 35 Main Street), built for brothers by H. Jacobs in 1894, share a common format but vary in their use of dressed and rusticated marble detailing. The Reed Block (1894; 33 Main Street) has unconventional, animated attic detailing worthy of the play of forces found in the work of Frank Furness in Philadelphia.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Main Street Business Blocks", [Fair Haven, 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, 92-93.

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