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Exner Block

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1907. 5–25 Canal St., Bellows Falls
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

Built on the site of a c. 1850 two-story tenement, the Exner Block is an outstanding example of popular wood-frame architecture from turn-of-the-twentieth-century Vermont. It is also probably the state's best extant use of stamped-metal siding, cornice, and interior decoration. A three-story, flat-roofed commercial block, it has eight projecting polygonal storefront bays, alternating with oval-glass door entrances and echoed by six similar residential bays roofed in pairs on the second floor. The interior storefront walls and ceilings are covered with metal. Two-story family units above were originally organized on either side of a central hallway. Notably, each unit had its own bath and toilet, at a time when such amenities were scarce in much of the village. Stamped metal, which could imitate stone, wood, and plaster, created an illusion of substantiality when in fact it was a relatively inexpensive appliqué. The block stood vacant many years from the late 1960s on, but Housing Vermont and the Rockingham Area Community Land Trust have rehabilitated it for use as housing.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Exner Block", [Rockingham, 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, 403-403.

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