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Place-based Essays

Essays in SAH Archipedia are broadly grouped as either place-based or thematic. Place-based essays include overviews of architecture in specific U.S. states and cities. Thematic essays examine architectural and urban issues within and across state and regional boundaries. Like individual building entries, essays are accompanied by rich subject metadata, so you can browse them by style, type, and period. SAH Archipedia essays are comprised of peer-reviewed scholarship (born-digital and print-based) contributed by architectural historians nationwide.

Rutland County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Rutland is the second-largest county in Vermont, and its twenty-seven towns encompass some of the highest peaks of the Green Mountains and the Taconic Range. The Mill, Cold, Neshobe, and other streams drain the west slope of the Green Mountains to create Otter Creek,...

Brandon Village

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Brandon village is the product of industrial prosperity, religious competition, and aesthetic sensitivity to the challenges and opportunities of topography. The village began in the 1780s around a mill site on the Neshobe River and a single bridge that served the...

Rutland

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Rutland is a small city with a population of 17,500 at the crossing of two historic corridors (today U.S. 4 and U.S. 7) traveled since the Late Woodland period. On the hillside site of a Revolutionary War fort overlooking Otter Creek, the village of Rutland...

Castleton

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Castleton preserves one of the finest early-nineteenth-century environments in Vermont. Settlers arrived beginning in 1767 from Salisbury, Connecticut, and by the onset of the Revolution, Castleton was a regionally important crossroads of the east–west trail through...

Addison County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Organized with twenty-two towns in October 1785, Addison County added the City of Vergennes in 1788 and the town of Orwell, from neighboring Rutland County, in 1847. Today its two dozen towns are home to 35,000 residents scattered primarily in the Champlain Valley...

Vergennes

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Vergennes is the best-preserved Lake Champlain port city in Vermont. Located at the last falls of Otter Creek, with both mill power and lake access, this “Smallest City in America” flourished in the water-powered industrial era. As one would expect for a lake port,...

Middlebury

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The picturesquely irregular Middlebury village reflects its roles as county seat, early industrial center, market town, turnpike hub, and home to a distinguished college. A variety of genres and broad range of architectural styles mark the village as one of Vermont's...

Chittenden County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Chittenden County lies in the broad valley between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. Although small in area, with 156,545 residents, it has more than twice the population of any other county. The Winooski River drains most of the county, flowing west from...

Burlington

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Known as Vermont's “Queen City,” Burlington is located strategically where the Winooski River empties into Lake Champlain, sharing access to the river's powerful final falls and commanding a splendid bay. The city has the state's largest and most consistent grid plan...

Winooski

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The City of Winooski, with 7,267 residents, lies on the north shore of the Winooski River where the river takes its last fall before meandering five more miles to Lake Champlain. Originally within the town of Colchester, Winooski developed quickly at the end of the...

Grand Isle County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Grand Isle County is one-quarter the size of most counties in Vermont. It consists of five towns on four islands and the Alburg peninsula in northern Lake Champlain and on the border of Canada. Though the county currently has the fastest-growing population in the...

Franklin County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Franklin County is the land of the Missisquoi River, which drains twelve of its fourteen towns. Beginning in Orleans County, the river enters Richford from Canada and then flows west through a broad valley and into Lake Champlain at Swanton. St. Albans City (...

City of St. Albans

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

St. Albans has been justly celebrated for the beauty of its setting along Lake Champlain, for its status as a major port of entry to the United States, and as the nation's greatest nineteenth-century rail center east of Chicago. Not surprisingly, St. Albans is...

Lamoille County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

In north-central Vermont, Lamoille County encompasses the upper Lamoille River Valley and some of the highest peaks in the Green Mountains. Its 24,400 residents are dispersed across ten towns. Morristown with 5,139 residents, which includes Morrisville with 2,100, is...

Morrisville

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Morrisville village coalesced around a sixty-foot drop in the Lamoille River where John Safford built the first sawmill in 1798 on a steep bluff above the falls on the river's south bank. In 1812 Safford also built the first gristmill in the village and, the...

Orleans County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

With a western Green Mountain boundary crowned by the distinctive point of Jay Peak, Orleans County looks toward Canada, as the Black, Willoughby, Clyde, and Barton rivers flow north into Lake Memphremagog, shared with Quebec. Where the rivers join the lake is the City...

Newport

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

A strategic mix of maritime commerce, railroad, milling, tourism, and proximity to the Canadian border made late-nineteenth-century Newport the most prominent community in Orleans County. Its striking site is an arrowhead-shaped peninsula where the Black, Barton, and...

Craftsbury

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The first settled village in the oldest township in Orleans County, Craftsbury Common is one of the most beautiful villages in Vermont. The forces that created it were not untypical. Strategically located on the Revolutionary-era Bayley-Hazen Military Road, the...

Essex County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Essex County forms the northeast corner of Vermont, bordering Quebec in Canada and Coos County in New Hampshire. It is an area of low mountains interspersed with ponds and great bogs, with the Coaticook River draining north to Canada and the Nulhegan River and many...

Caledonia County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Caledonia County, with a population of 31,227, is formed by seventeen towns, mostly occupying the lands drained by the Passumpsic River and its tributaries and those of the smaller Stevens and Wells rivers, all of which drain into the Connecticut River. Located in...

Lyndonville

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Lyndonville preserves the clearly readable forms of Vermont's first and only village planned by and for a railroad. In 1866, after fire destroyed its St. Johnsbury facilities, the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad decided to move its operation northward to...

City of St. Johnsbury

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

One family of enlightened industrialists, the Fairbanks, largely shaped the dignified late-nineteenth-century townscape of St. Johnsbury. Founded in 1786, it was named, on the suggestion of Ethan Allen, after French American author Hector St. John de...

Peacham

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The crossroads village of Peacham Corners provides a rich catalog of Vermont interpretations of Greek Revival. The village developed in the late eighteenth century at the intersection of the road (Church Street) from Peacham's elevated common and the important Bayley-...

Washington County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

With eighteen towns and two cities, Washington County encompasses the upper Winooski River watershed east of the Green Mountains. The City of Montpelier, with 7,855 residents, is the county shire and the capital of Vermont. To the southeast, the City of Barre is...

Montpelier

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The nation's smallest state capital, the compact city of Montpelier is a place shaped by topography, government, insurance, and industry, in that order of importance. Its founders envisioned a town center in what is now East Montpelier, but river-oriented...

Barre

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

In many ways Barre is a typical Vermont industrial city, small in size (population 8,789) and struggling to reconcile its industrial heritage with its need to reinvent itself with a twenty-first-century economy. The “Granite City” was the historical center of what was once...

Northfield Village

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Although there are many rural villages remaining in Vermont whose buildings are defined by Greek Revival, Northfield village is one of the best preserved. It contains what is, perhaps, the most complete collection of modest dwellings typical of the era's...

Orange County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Orange is perhaps the most thoroughly rural county in Vermont. The small population of 29,000 residents is scattered among its seventeen hilly towns located between the Connecticut River and the upper branches of the White River. Within its borders are the watersheds...

Randolph Village

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

The village of Randolph, which lies at a bend and fall in the Third Branch of the White River, began as a sawmill site during settlement after the American Revolution. Randolph town soon became one of the most prosperous agricultural communities in Orange...

Windsor County

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Windsor is Vermont's largest county in area, with 55,000 residents in twenty-four towns between the Connecticut River and the spine of the Green Mountains. It encompasses the watersheds of the upper Williams, Black, and Ottauquechee, and the lower half of White River,...

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