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NAMCO Block

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1922, L. A. LaFrance Company. 1–17 Union St., Windsor village
  • NAMCO Block

This seventy-two-unit apartment block, large even by city standards, is a surprise in Windsor. It was built for the National Acme Company on a site once occupied by nineteenth-century Mill Brook machine shops to ameliorate the housing crisis precipitated by the company's World War I and postwar contracts, which doubled the village population in four years' time. Its designers, the L. A. LaFrance Company, whose work included one hundred and twenty-six apartment and retail blocks in industrial Holyoke, Massachusetts, composed the four-story, flat-roofed building as nine attached apartment blocks. On the street front they used Colonial Revival embellishments that included bow fronts, belt courses, shouldered lintels, and pilaster-framed entrances. The detailing gave each component visual distinction and attempted to make the complex look more like quality housing than a workers' tenement. Tenement character asserts itself, however, on the structure's rear elevation with its four-story-high wooden porches. Inside, vestibules with tile floors and wainscoting led to comfortable, one-and two-bedroom, steam-heated family apartments with cross ventilation, a marked advance over much of the state's earlier workers' housing. Long Vermont's single biggest apartment building, the NAMCO Block was rehabilitated in 1989 to provide low-income housing and has recently undergone further renovation.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "NAMCO Block", [Windsor, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-WS45.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 381-381.

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