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Vermont is small, but noteworthy in excess of its size, and significant beyond its well-known stereotypes. The Green Mountain State's popular image epitomizes New England—handsome barns overlooking grazing cows in rolling pastures, white country churches punctuating hillsides of blazing maples, and small villages clustering around gracious greens. However appealing, this travel-brochure image does little justice to the architectural richness of a place that retains so dense and comprehensive a variety of building types, landscapes, and historic environments that the state has been proclaimed a “unique” world destination by National Geographic Traveler and designated a national historic treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.1

This book looks beyond the stereotypes to document the remarkable quality, humanity, and persistence of the state's built landscape, but not necessarily its uniqueness. Through a long history spanning much of the American experience, the state has been in the mainstream. Its rich stew of styles and types has drawn on many sources—immigrant traditions, publications, imported designs—to serve a full range of purposes. As such, Vermont presents a microcosm of American building history with structures and patterns that have had countless counterparts beyond its boundaries. A native frugality and conservatism, in combination with a relatively slow-paced economy that accommodated development through addition and adaptation rather than replacement, have left a remarkably unchanged Vermont that conserves records and lessons about things that America may have lost elsewhere, but still remembers.

With 625,741 people, according to the 2010 census, in an area of 9,615 square miles, Vermont is one of the nation's smallest states. It is also the most rural. The largest city, Burlington, has only 42,417 residents, and 67 percent of the state's population lives in communities of fewer than 2,500 people. Nevertheless, the state has an important pattern of evenly dispersed villages and small but complete urban centers of distinctive character. The fact that most of these, in spite of their size, provide a full range of goods and services has implications for the architecture that accommodates their activities. With few exceptions, while mirroring mainstream tastes and ambitions, the state's buildings are often small-scale versions of national types, conditioned by a modest population and moderate financial resources. They tend to be made of Vermont materials, utilizing the state's abundant resources of wood, limestone, marble, granite, and slate, along with an early local production of brick, iron, and glass. The state's built environment tends to respond to the potentials and challenges of its landscape and climate. And, with the exception of community facilities and workers' housing (and outside of late-twentieth-century growth areas like Chittenden County and thriving ski villages), the state's buildings have been produced by individuals for private use rather than as more anonymous, large-scale speculative ventures.


The modern landscape of Vermont can readily be traced back to the water and land routes used by Native Americans for thousands of years, many of which remain the primary travelways today. European visitors following these routes in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries noted native villages on the Connecticut River, near Lake Champlain, and elsewhere, and archaeological evidence indicates that many of the open sites they encountered in the interior had been cleared and used seasonally by aboriginals. As progressive contact with Europeans decimated and fractured the Abenaki and Mahican tribes occupying most of the area, coalitions of natives formed at the northern villages and at encampments near French and English forts. French settlement at Isle La Motte, Swanton, and Chimney Point may have improved upon native sites, but with the victory of English arms in 1763, they ultimately left little more than an archaeological mark on the landscape. The decision of New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth to sell off land on the west side of the Connecticut River, north of the recently established Massachusetts line, at less than one-hundredth the price of wild land in neighboring colonies, initiated a steady flow of settlers into the area that is now Vermont. Most followed waterways across the Massachusetts border and up the Connecticut and Hudson rivers and their tributaries into what became the New Hampshire Grants. Between 1749 and 1753 Wentworth granted Bennington, Halifax, and fifteen towns along the Connecticut River; between 1759 and 1762, despite New York's objections, he granted one hundred and sixteen towns on the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, nearly to Canada. A military road constructed across the Green Mountains in 1761–1763 to link Fort No. Four in Charlestown, New Hampshire, with the English fort at Crown Point, New York, on the west shore of Lake Champlain provided a highway for settlement of what are now southern Windsor and Rutland counties.2

The charters and plans that allocated land in the towns had a lasting impact on the state. The proprietors who purchased these townships divided them up on paper in their many home communities, as diverse as Waltham and Greenfield, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Newport, Rhode Island; Litchfield, Connecticut; and Great Nine Partners, New York. The basic plan used was an early version of the range township, six miles square and divided into large parallelogram lots for easy sale. But it combined elements of earlier centralized New England town plans as well. In a partial nod to royal instructions, the charters called for reserved lots to benefit Wentworth, the Church of England, the first minister who settled in the town, the schools, and other individuals and causes. Often a central village lot was designated at what theoretically would be the crossing of the main east–west and north–south roads in the town. In some cases the village was further detailed into a plan with a central common surrounded by lots designated for a meetinghouse, a school, a burying yard, and dozens of house lots assigned to each lotter in the town's first division. Sometimes along Lake Champlain and the Connecticut, White, and Batenkill rivers, the shoreline was divided so that it could be apportioned among the lotters. For example, Bradford and Shoreham divided up their respective shorelines into sixty-eight thin lots each. Often, proprietors voted a lot for the builder of the first saw- and gristmills in the town. Although a few notable proprietors did actually settle in the towns they developed, most sold their lots to settlers or to investors.

Despite formal plans and a few instances of organized group settlement, most settlement during this early period devolved into families improving a few acres on individual lots separated by vast tracts of forest. In such cases, plans for central commons and villages were either neglected or soon abandoned. Nonetheless, the boundaries established in these original town plans remain visible today throughout farm and forest lands, plainly marked by early stone walls, roads, and hedgerows. Where geography permitted, particularly in the Champlain Valley, a number of villages did evolve at originally designated town centers. Similarly, the narrow waterfront lots in some towns fostered the long field patterns still visible on some lakeside and river farms today.3

By 1774, the 12,000 residents of the New Hampshire Grants lived in a diverse mix of wooden buildings that reflected both Old and New World traditions. A dizzying array of dwellings appeared: log cabins, block (squaredlog) houses, burrow houses, earth-fast (“crutch”-frame) houses, plank-wall cabins, one-and two-room frame types, Cape Cod and “cross-passage” center-chimney houses, and bank houses, as well as rare two-story center-chimney houses. Though the few documented survivors from this period suggest a landscape of rude huts and log cabins, English officers occupying the remote frontier village of Castleton in 1777 remarked with surprise on the quality of the houses. As might be expected, survivors are found mostly in the areas of earliest settlement in Bennington, Windham, southern Rutland, and southeastern Windsor counties. Almost none remain in their original form: most two-story frame houses have been long since remodeled into symmetrical Colonial Revivals and smaller types incorporated into a larger house, attached as a wing or ell, or recycled as an outbuilding. While they cleared land and quarreled over New Hampshire and New York land titles, residents also erected New England–type meetinghouses in Bennington, Brattleboro, and Springfield; courthouses in Bennington, Chester, and Westminster; and other wood-frame public buildings, such as the renowned gambrel-roofed Catamount Tavern in Bennington. Unfortunately, none of these survive.4

While the American Revolution interrupted settlement, Vermont's declaration of independence did leave its mark on the land. The Continental Army blazed two branches off the Crown Point Military Road to the southern tip of Lake Champlain and to a new fort in Orwell, Mount Independence, opposite Fort Ticonderoga in New York. In 1776 with funding approved by George Washington, General Jacob Bayley started a road near his home in Newbury to supply American troops in Quebec. He built it as far as Peacham before the retreat from Mount Independence and the Battle of Hubbardton. The Battle of Bennington and the victory at Saratoga closed out 1777, as the State of Vermont declared settlements north of Rutland and Corinth beyond defense. In 1779 General Moses Hazen extended the Bayley road as far as a pass in the northern Green Mountains (in Westfield) until raids by English-led Native Americans halted construction. To cover its war expenses and reward its militia, the state began granting and selling off its townships in central and northern Vermont. As a result, after 1781 the waves of settlers resumed, usually buying cheap land from agents and then following the new military roads and the watersheds up from the Connecticut and the Hudson rivers and Lake Champlain. This pattern of settlement along watersheds set the general “downriver” cultural orientation in most rural communities, where, for example, local architecture tended to reflect the stylistic preferences of downstream contemporaries rather than those of a neighboring town in an adjacent river drainage. This relationship is evident in the architecture of most small Vermont towns well into the twentieth century.


In 1791 Vermont became the fourteenth state, with more than 85,000 residents. Generally scattered on thousands of farms, the majority of these residents probably lived in one- and two-room log or frame cabins. Most farms consisted of a small “first” house and a small wood-frame multipurpose barn, generally a gabled 30 × 40–foot “English” barn. House and barn were typically surrounded by a few planted acres fenced to keep out the livestock that were allowed to wander freely in the forest between clearings. Unlike the medieval practice of keeping animals and humans under one continuous roof, barns were separate from the house. They often fronted the town road in a display of agricultural prosperity, a barn commonly being the first frame building on many eighteenth-century farms.

During the 1790s, as land clearing accelerated and exports of potash (made from felled and burnt trees) and surpluses of wheat allowed many farms to prosper, additional specialized structures began to appear. Cow houses, granaries, corn houses, sheep sheds, and horse barns clustered together with the main barn, which by then was increasingly located behind a new wood-frame house. In the areas settled before the Revolution, most residents had already replaced their original cabin with a heavy timber-frame, one-and-a-half-or two-story dwelling. Regional differences based on the origins of settlers and their builders became more pronounced. On the eastern side of the Green Mountains, the gable-roofed, low-eaved, center-chimney house known as the Cape Cod became the favored form for a modest one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame house, just as it was in New Hampshire and the Connecticut River Valley. A few other eastern and northern New England house types have survived including the cross-passage, the saltbox, early I-houses, and the five-bay gable-front form. By 1800 a wood-intensive, combination frame-and-plank-wall construction was sometimes employed for Capes and some two-story houses, particularly in the upper Connecticut, upper Winooski, and upper Lamoille river valleys where its use accompanied the clearing of the native forest. On the west side of the Green Mountains in Bennington and southern Rutland counties, Hudson River Valley architectural traits, influenced by New Netherlands building traditions, found their way into center-chimney, one-and-a-half-story buildings with such features as bent framing, flared eaves, high knee walls, gambrel roofs, and related “Dutch” barns. Thanks in part to the clay soil of western Vermont, brick construction emerged early, as seen in buildings with Flemish bond, diaper wall patterns, parapet end walls, and other hallmarks of masons traveling from the Hudson River Valley.

Although Matthew Lyon began producing cut nails with a slitting mill in Fair Haven about 1790, the need to import nails, as well as hardware, glass, and many other finish materials, overland to Vermont meant that the “stately” two-story houses of the eighteenth century looked much different than those that survive today. The fragmentary U.S. Direct Tax records of 1798 for Vermont indicate that even the houses of the very wealthy had only eight to twelve windows, compared with sixteen to twenty on their survivors.5 Those same records reveal that the windows were small, fixed multilight, single sash windows or small, multilight, double-hung sash windows, compared with the large twelve-over-twelve or six-over-six double-hung sash windows of most survivors. In northwestern Massachusetts, 1798 tax data indicate that two-story houses made up less than a tenth of all homes, compared with two-story examples in Vermont that today account for closer to a quarter of known survivors. Not surprisingly, most are associated with the wealthiest farmers and merchants, and the most architecturally distinguished are frequently associated with Vermont's early military and political leaders.

Finished Georgian doorways and interior paneled parlors appeared in the 1780s, although extant early detailing is often naive in its proportions. By the 1790s, however, skilled house carpenters working in Vermont evidenced some distinct Georgian stylistic influences. Workmen trained in and near Boston, Portsmouth, Hartford, Albany, and other cities where English architectural pattern books circulated likely executed many of the finely proportioned doorways still extant. The influence of western Connecticut appears in the taste for Georgian-plan houses with a central projecting pedimented entrance pavilion found in Bennington County and northward in Addison, Chittenden, and Franklin counties. The hallmarks and the workmen of the Connecticut River Valley's highly embellished Georgian style moved easily upriver from Connecticut and Massachusetts into Vermont and New Hampshire. Echoes of the lower valley's characteristically ornate doorways, with pediments resting on multilayered pilasters, are found from Vernon to Springfield and Danville. There are also rich paneled-wall interiors in houses from Rockingham to Norwich and Peacham, and these rank with the finest found in Claremont and Walpole, New Hampshire, and in Massachusetts. Some of the most refined of such detailing can be found on the Rockingham Meeting House (WH7), the only one of the nearly two dozen New England–style meetinghouses built during this period that remains substantially intact.

Most of the state's villages developed in the 1790s, almost all in locations determined by access to waterpower and transportation rather than by abstract directives in town charters. Smaller town centers evolved around a church and a school, with houses set well back on large lots fenced to keep out livestock. The fashion for connecting house, ells, and barn first appeared in such villages. Larger county shire and industrial villages had mills surrounding the falls and a jumble of commercial buildings lining the stagecoach road and its main intersections. These villages filled with lawyers, merchants, and millers anxious to emulate the New England centers from which they had come.

Hoping to secure town center or shire status for their villages, they established town greens through gifts or discounted land sales. Attracting skilled building professionals who produced Federal-style projects, they established what would become a consistent state pattern: with the exception of scattered prosperous agricultural residences, high styles were the domain of the villages. Thus in 1797 the Congregational Society of Windsor hired Asher Benjamin of Greenfield, Massachusetts, to design its meetinghouse, and in 1800 the town lured him north for a two-year residency. While in Windsor, he produced buildings in his refined frame Connecticut Valley style and advertised a “school” of architecture.6 Benjamin's activities generated a group of like-minded craftsmen who traveled upriver to Norwich and inland via stagecoach roads to Woodstock, Randolph, Chelsea, and Castleton.7 In the state's western valley, Lavius Fillmore, a Charles Bulfinch–inspired meetinghouse builder, was called from Connecticut to Bennington (1804–1805) and then to Middlebury (1806–1809), where he worked for more than four decades.8 In 1815 Burlingtonians solicited designs for their Unitarian church from two Bostonians, Charles Bulfinch and Peter Banner.9 Such major building projects prompted regional craftsmen to work in similar vocabularies and stimulated demand for high-style materials, tools, imported hardware, and builders' guides. The works of the Emerson brothers in Norwich, Thomas R. Dake in Castleton, Elisha Scott in East Poultney, and Russell Skinner in Burlington bear witness to this pattern of diffusion from major master and monument to local production. In a similar fashion, the construction in 1809 of the state prison in Windsor by master masons working under Stuart Park from Groton, Massachusetts, helped establish a tradition of fine arcaded brickwork that spread outward from Windsor County in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century.10


With the definitive populating of its interior and northern counties in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, Vermont reached full agricultural settlement, and its lake ports and industrial villages were thriving. Expanding demand for new farmhouses, along with schoolhouses and academies, village stores, inns, small-town banks, law offices, and jails, assured that Greek Revival would be more broadly diffused than had been the Federal style before it. The most sophisticated Greek Revival buildings were primarily urban. Alexander Parris of Boston introduced the taste in Windsor in 1822 with St. Paul's Episcopal Church (WS42) and Ammi B. Young, practicing in Burlington, brought it to Burlington (CH33) and to Montpelier (WA20) in the 1830s. Because regional builders had access to pattern books, locally produced millwork details, emergent marble and granite production, and foundries producing decorative ironwork details, vigorous Greek Revival designs soon appeared across the state. Some of these local masters are known: Hiland Hall in Bennington, Eli Buch in Windsor County, William Cowee in Benson, and James Lamb in the lower Champlain Valley. The style was prevalent in public buildings like the State House (WA20), the Windham County Courthouse (WH27), and the Shoreham Congregational Church (AD36), and in ambitious houses like Burlington's Follett House (CH33) and the Rodney Marsh House (RU5) in Brandon. Across the state it also generated a broad vernacular. “Classic Cottages” (Capes adapted for stove heating and trimmed with Greek Revival details) populated rural roads throughout the counties north of Bennington and Windham, while temple-front, side-hall-with-ell houses (with connected working ells and a barn at the rear) filled the subdivided lots between the original village farmhouses in rural town centers.

Regional variations can be identified within Greek Revival: pavilion-with-ell houses in the western valleys and five-bay pedimented-front houses between the Connecticut River and the Green and White mountains from Massachusetts north. Sometimes the latter incorporated a “Connecticut River Valley porch” inset within attic gable fronts. However, this distinctive balcony porch is more often combined with side-hall and Classic Cottage plans, where it ranges farther north to Lake Memphremagog and into the eastern townships of Quebec. Each major watershed has something of its own Greek flavor due to local ornament manufacture and the timing of peak building activity. For example, the many Greek Revival farmhouses and churches of the 1840s financed by the Merino sheep boom in Addison County are fully Greek and Asher Benjamin pattern-book perfect, while the later Classic Cottage farmhouses in Washington and eastern Lamoille counties more freely alter proportions and add Gothic and Italianate elements. Grand Isle County, separated from the rest of Vermont until the first bridge from Milton in 1835, developed a sophisticated local stone building tradition and employed hints of English Regency styling influenced by its British Canada neighbors. Farms broadly imitated the Federal-era connected architecture of the villages, which is why Federal segmental-arched bays appear in the stable and wagon ells of many otherwise consciously Greek Revival farmhouses. This also became the predominant arrangement of house, ells, and barns in the state, particularly east of the Green Mountains. One-story wood-frame sheep sheds and barns proliferated after 1824 when sheep raising dominated local agriculture; today, most are gone or recycled into other buildings. As dairying gained favor, the “Yankee” or northern New England bank barn for cattle arrived from New Hampshire and soon was found throughout Vermont east of the Green Mountains.

Contemporary with Greek Revival but narrower in its application, Gothic Revival began in Vermont as an ecclesiastical style in association with the establishment of the Episcopal Church. In 1826 the Reverend Benjamin Bosworth Smith led the construction of Vermont's first Gothic Revival church (AD24) in Middlebury and published a journal encouraging Episcopalians to establish an American identity distinct from that of the Congregationalists and Baptists by embracing English rural Gothic.11 Vermont's first Episcopal bishop, John Henry Hopkins, published the first American treatise on ecclesiastical Gothic in 1836, and in the 1860s he designed buildings in the style for Brandon ( RU6), Burlington, and Rutland (RU24).12 His efforts were joined by those of British architect William Passman in Arlington (BE10), British-born John Cain in Wells (RU65), Ammi B. Young in Burlington (1830–1832; destroyed), New York City Ecclesiologists Richard Upjohn in Bellows Falls (WH14) and William Appleton Potter in Shelburne (CH58), and Vermont-born William P. Wentworth at St. Luke's (1871) in Chester. In the 1830s and 1840s, especially in Windham County, Congregational churches, for example in Townshend and Guilford, added blind pointed Gothic arches above the windows of otherwise Federal-style buildings. After midcentury the state's newly established Roman Catholic diocese constructed a string of churches in the Gothic mode by New Yorker Patrick C. Keely in West Rutland (RU45), the Reverend Joseph Michaud of Canada in Winooski (CH41), and Vermonter George Guernsey in Bellows Falls (WH9) and Rutland (RU26). After the Civil War most denominations across the state deemed a vigorous Victorian Gothic appropriate for new churches.

In domestic architecture, Carpenter Gothic, with its steep roof pitches, wall dormers, and inventive bargeboards, appears in widely scattered examples from the 1840s, with striking variants as late as the 1880s. A cluster of cottages and villas particularly close to A. J. Downing's concepts were built early on: the Morrill Homestead in Strafford (OG29), the Townsend-McIndoe House in Windsor (WS41), Athenwood in Montpelier (WA36), and the Brainerd House in St. Albans (FR30). Much more common, however, was a variant on the Classic Cottage made Gothic with steep wall dormers centered on the main block and ell.


From the mid-nineteenth century on, Vermont's economy, buildings, and communities underwent a dramatic restructuring with the transition from waterpower to steam power spearheaded by the construction of railroads throughout the state between 1848 and 1858 and throughout the interior from 1869 to 1892. Since the 1790s, individual builders and pattern books had brought new architectural ideas into the state, but industrialization and railroads brought access to many new regional and national published sources of architectural taste and design; more architectural manufactories of sash, hardware, and finish materials; and the means to import them and to move Vermont's own wood and stone products to state and regional markets. Steam power and the circular saw made possible mass-produced dimension lumber and platform framing, which dominated construction in larger villages by the 1850s and throughout farm country by the 1880s, although post-and-beam barns continued to be built in rural areas as late as the 1920s.

Railroad routes physically transformed villages in a number of ways. The location of company headquarters, rail yards, and new jobs spurred rapid building and commercial growth in Bellows Falls, Island Pond, Northfield, Rutland, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury. New villages were established, including Essex Junction, Lyndonville, South Royalton, and White River Junction; and old ones, such as Bennington, Randolph, and Rutland, moved downhill or across rivers to meet the rail depot. Some industrial villages doubled and tripled in size as local manufacturers thrived with the ability to ship their products by rail: textiles in Bennington and Winooski, reed organs in Brattleboro, scales in St. Johnsbury and Rutland, and machine tools in Windsor. Rail transportation of stone and wood directly from quarries and forests to mills and markets supported the development of wealthy industrial villages devoted to marble (West Rutland and Proctor), slate (Fair Haven and Poultney), granite (Barre, Hardwick, and Barton), and wood products (Bellows Falls, Island Pond, Ludlow, and Richford). The railroad also supplied the factories and lumber yards of the lake ports of Burlington and Newport. The largest villages incorporated, adding grid streets and developing distinct downtowns and industrial corridors along rail lines. They also produced discernable socioeconomic and ethnic neighborhoods, as merchants and professionals prospered and successive waves of Irish, Canadian, Scottish, and Welsh, and, later, Italian and Scandinavian immigrants supplied an industrial workforce.

During this period, the Italianate style succeeded Greek Revival in popularity for new village construction. It arrived in the 1850s with public and railroad buildings by Ammi B. Young in Windsor (WS40), Rutland (RU37), and Northfield (WA49) and his protégé Thomas W. Silloway at Woodstock (WS23) and Montpelier (WA20), a villa by Richard Upjohn in Brattleboro (1853–1856; demolished), and taste-setting houses for the Hickok family in Burlington (CH18). By the 1860s Italianate had caught on for schools, commercial blocks, churches, and houses in masonry and frame designed by such regional talents as J. J. R. Randall in Rutland (RU38) and Horace Carpenter in St. Johnsbury (CA19) or utilizing regional millwork like that of Falardo and LeBoeuf in Vergennes (AD8). Industrialists in Rutland, Burlington, Fair Haven, Chester, Saxtons River, and elsewhere favored a grand “palazzo” house, a cubic block with belvederes and piazzas; most others building in new village neighborhoods preferred a frame side-hall plan with an ell or rear wing with a mixture of Greek and Italianate detailing. Two-and three-story Italianate commercial buildings, with straight rooflines, boldly projecting bracketed cornices, and glazed storefronts, established an almost urban scale and density in many village centers. Surviving the fires that swept virtually every community in the later years of the century are fine examples in Fair Haven, Bennington, Brattleboro, Rutland, and Burlington.

The post–Civil War era brought a new breed of Vermonters and a new style. Local magnates with cosmopolitan connections and vast wealth (often generated out of state) chose to retain Vermont as their permanent home and to contemporize their communities through their patronage. The Parks of Bennington, Baxters of Rutland, Smiths of St. Albans, Fairbanks of St. Johnsbury, and Esteys and Brooks of Brattleboro established Second Empire in the 1860s and early 1870s with architects imported from New York, Boston, and elsewhere. Local resident builder-architects, for example, Middlebury's Clinton G. Smith, soon began to combine mansard roofs or towers with otherwise Italianate detailing to provide showy homegrown versions for small-town industrialists and merchants anxious to emulate Second Empire fashion. Primarily associated with mansions and urban hotels in, for example, Bennington, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Newport, and Rutland, Second Empire was also used for courthouses in Burlington (1872; destroyed), Bennington, and St. Albans; for railroad buildings in North Bennington and St. Albans; for schools in Montpelier and Wells River; and even a factory at Enosburg Falls and a grand horse barn in Weybridge.

In adapting to new railroad markets, Vermont farmers continued to build and rearrange diversified farmyards even as they transitioned from sheep raising to dairying and stock breeding. While many upland farms in long-settled towns disappeared, most valley farms found new proprietors, including immigrant Canadians in Addison and the northern counties. Although the antebellum arrangement of connecting house and outbuildings continued to dominate farmyards, style-conscious stockbreeders and dairymen added round-arched and bracketed cupolas on their barns to match their new Italianate houses. Progressive farmers added right-angle extensions or rearranged barns to create an enclosed courtyard to shelter livestock from northerly and westerly winds, as recommended in pattern books and farm building books and illustrated in engravings of “gentlemen's” farms.13 Italianate cupolas adorned the new, larger bank barns touted in the agricultural press and eventually built on most Vermont dairy farms. East of the Green Mountains the gable-end entrance, ten-cow Yankee barn evolved to house all the livestock and feed for a diversified twenty-cow dairy farm. In the Champlain Valley, and particularly in Franklin County, a ground-stable version held sway, often with distinctive double eave-side haymow entrances. Many old farmhouses gained brackets and a piazza, making them indistinguishable from new Italianate farmhouses, particularly in upland areas where farmers continued to choose the conservative central-hall plan for new houses.


By the start of the twentieth century, Vermont's wood, stone, and manufacturing industries were pumping fifty million dollars into the state economy each year. The largest villages expanded with this prosperity, raising four-and-five-story masonry commercial blocks in their downtowns, adopting city charters, and developing streetcar loops and links to sizeable nearby villages. Smaller “urban” villages took on their present form and developed water and electric utilities. They also added scores of pattern-book, wood-frame, tri-gable, ell houses, whose Gingerbread, turned-post porches, bay windows, and occasional towers established a distinct character determined by the individuality of their local woodshop products and the timing of peak house construction. Sometimes a single manufacturer created a small village to attract a workforce, financing rows of duplexes or modest side-hall and foursquare houses. This led to the arrival of industrial village housing types in some remote rural locales.

Expanding industrial and commercial wealth in the last decades of the nineteenth century also generated ambitious buildings emulating cosmopolitan fashions. They used robust Romanesque-type masonry of rock-faced Vermont redstone, granite, or marble and vigorous Queen Anne framing and cladding in a full range of products from the local lumber mills. Queen Anne quickly became the dominant domestic style in Vermont's cities and industrial villages, where the individual decorative choices of local architects and component manufacturers gave each community a distinctive character. Tastes, however, were still influenced by imported talent. The Billings family of Woodstock called Robert Morris Copeland and Henry Hudson Holly to remodel their house and gardens (WS29) and brought H. H. Richardson to design the Billings Library (CH19.2) at the University of Vermont. Prosperity from lumber, shipping, and banking and an influx of seasonal summer residents permitted Burlington to attract Peabody and Stearns and Frederick Law Olmsted. This period also gave rise to significant local architectural practices. In Burlington architects such as A. B. and Clellan W. Fisher, W. R. B. Willcox, and Z. T. and Frank L. Austin laid the foundations for the city's continuing dominance in the state's professional design community. Rutland, with its industrial, railroad, and marble wealth, supported the careers of Milo Lyman, Charles E. Paige, and Arthur H. Smith. In smaller centers, individual patrons did much to shape architectural production. In Middlebury, Joseph Battell fostered the career of architect-builder Clinton G. Smith, who ultimately became head of construction for the War Department in Washington, D.C. The Fairbanks family of St. Johnsbury was instrumental in the career of Vermont's most prolific and important Richardsonian, Lambert Packard, while in Bennington the banking Graves family supported the Queen Anne flamboyance of William C. Bull. An exception was Montpelier-based architect George Guernsey, who did not rely on special patronage or the prosperity of a single locale, but built a vigorous career on civic, religious, and commercial commissions in smaller villages from Chester to Georgia.14

Town halls became a focus of civic construction in these decades. Smaller communities subdivided existing meetinghouses, creating offices and meeting rooms on a lower floor and a sanctuary above. Larger and more prosperous places built new, secular halls with upstairs town-meeting rooms that also functioned as places of entertainment, as in Brandon, Bristol, Westminster, and Middlebury. The stages of these “opera houses” featured remarkable painted scenic curtains, many of which are intact today. From the 1880s to the advent of motion pictures, opera houses played an important role in community life. Among the best preserved are the Haskell Free Library and Opera House (OL6) in Derby Line, which shares its quarters with a library rather than with town business, and the Barre City Hall and Opera House (WA41) in Barre.

School building was another important civic undertaking. Academies and college buildings, of which Vermont conserves a remarkable stock from the Federal period and later, had been among the largest structures in the state, but most schools were modest in scale and neighborhood based. From the 1860s on, larger communities began consolidating their educational facilities into more sizable graded schools, an effort facilitated by a state law in 1892 that established the town rather than the neighborhood as the basic unit of school control. In 1900 Vermont required that every town with a population in excess of 2,500 maintain a public high school. In some cases the old academies served the purpose, but in many others there was a need for substantial new buildings. With the change in scale, school buildings came to be viewed as civic architecture. In the 1880s and 1890s municipalities like Rutland, Burlington, Barre, and St. Albans built impressive school buildings as important expressions of support by the worker classes for public education. In others, such as St. Albans and Morrisville, successful native sons donated the funds for new school buildings.

Meanwhile, most of Vermont's thirty thousand farms continued practicing diversified agriculture, supported increasingly by dairying, as the state became Boston's primary butter and milk supplier. Although a new wave of French Canadian immigrants reoccupied farms in the northern counties, few farmers built a new house unless the old one burned. They did, however, build new, larger bank barns. Some had gambrel roofs to increase the hay-loft, and there were several dozen built in the distinctive polygonal or round forms that gained popularity at this time. In addition, the largest dairy farms built a small number of mammoth, one-hundred-cow bank barns. Most also added freestanding, wood-stave silos and several specialized outbuildings free from any connected arrangement, as farmyards grew along more dispersed lines. Building to support the breeding of Morgans, trotters, and other horses reached its peak, as did horse racing, necessitating Kendall's Spavin Cure Buildings (FR21), buggy and harness manufacture, and other related enterprises. Outside the cities and industrial villages, the mature four-field system of farmyard/gardens/cropland/pasture/woodlot covered most of the landscape, except in the mountains and the northeast forest. The latter reached peak deforestation during these years as hardwood, saw logs, and, finally, charcoal or pulp wood were extracted via teamsters, rail lines, and log drives on the Connecticut River.

Vermont industry continued to thrive and expand into the first two decades of the twentieth century. Residential growth, spurred by immigration in industrial centers and urban villages, was largely accommodated by published designs and mail-order kits. Noteworthy public, institutional, and commercial buildings featured formal Beaux-Arts designs, including buildings at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont; banks; libraries; post offices; a railroad station in Burlington; and customs offices in Richford and Newport. Out-of-state architects were responsible for most of these buildings, though the state did make its own contributions to American Beaux-Arts. William R. Mead and Richard Morris Hunt were both natives of Brattleboro, and the Vermont Marble Company in Proctor became a major source for satisfying the nation's turn-of-the-twentieth-century taste for marble and fine classical detailing.


Beginning in the early nineteenth century, Vermont experienced an exodus of people seeking more favorable soils, climate, and economic opportunities. In the 1890s the state sought to counter the phenomenon by encouraging its former residents to remember their roots. Capitalizing on late-nineteenth-century nostalgia for the simple virtues of rural life and on similar campaigns in New Hampshire and Maine, the state worked to bring former Vermonters back to their places of origin for regular visits or seasonal residences. In 1899 Vermont formalized decade-old informal, local celebrations into an annual Old Home Week. While few former Vermonters returned permanently, a number of the more successful were moved to build libraries, high schools, and opera houses as gifts to their hometowns. George Peabody built a small library (OG26) for his boyhood summer community of Thetford, the Woods family financed an academy and a library (OG21) in Bradford, and the Dutton family donated a town hall (WH24) to Townshend. William R. Mead appears to have provided the McKim, Mead and White design for a grade school (WH45) in his hometown of Brattleboro. Libraries were a particularly popular gift, encouraged by legislation in 1894 that offered state assistance for towns to establish and stock public libraries.

After the Civil War, some former residents moved back with their outof-state fortunes to reestablish their roots, and to experience rural life in a gentrified manner. They acquired large holdings of Vermont's beautiful but often depressed rural landscape at bargain prices and built impressive gentlemen's farms. They developed progressive dairy, breeding, and orcharding operations intended as models for improving the condition of Vermont's agriculture, providing employment to rural workers, and creating a seasonal setting for the good life. The Billings of Woodstock, the Darlings of Lyndon, the Martins of Plainfield, the Everetts and Colgates of Bennington, the Lincolns of Manchester, and the Webbs of Shelburne built grand houses, barn complexes, and landscapes that remain among the most notable in the state.

Other seasonal residents and in-state elites favored more rustic designs for seasonal hotels, clubhouses, and summer houses. Mineral springs, spas, and mountaintop hotels brought the first out-of-state summer visitors to Vermont before and after the Civil War, but by the 1880s lakeside hotels did the lion's share of summer business, and were instrumental in ending the statewide liquor prohibition in 1904. The hotels occupied rambling frame buildings with extensive verandas that were vulnerable to fire as well as to neglect after tastes changed. As a result, only a few seminal examples of the main types remain, notably the Equinox House (BE6), Clarendon Springs (RU17), the Breadloaf Inn (AD31), and the Grand Isle Lake House (GI10) on Grand Isle. By 1890 wealthy out-of-state entrepreneurs and professionals with no inclination to farm began building lakefront summer houses, often near the hotels, while the state's political and financial leaders built rustic clubhouses for their fish and game clubs (Barnard, Grand Isle, Sharon, Stowe, and Wilmington) and for their lakeside camp associations (Castleton, Charlotte, and Ferrisburgh). Friends and colleagues from businesses or schools, in and out of state, established “colonies” of contiguous summer houses on many lakes. Steamers from Burlington served the Lake Champlain shorelines; the Rutland Street Railway served the east side of Lake Bomoseen; and a long coach ride from the railroad line awaited travelers to the many other inland lakes. Wood-frame, one-story fishing “shacks” used since before the Civil War quickly evolved into larger family camps with elaborate Queen Anne porches and in some areas Shingle Style and Adirondack Rustic designs.


Throughout Vermont, high-style buildings of the early twentieth century, public and private, tended toward the Colonial Revival, an implicitly nostalgic style that suited Vermont's colonial-rooted, rural self-image. Despite booming urban centers like Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury, the state retained much of its early construction and remained predominantly agricultural. The state embraced tourism, which had become its third-most-important industry after agriculture and manufacturing, as an antidote to rural depopulation and economic depression and to growing immigrant communities. Since the 1890s the railroads had been promoting Vermont as an unspoiled land where one could still experience idealized rural and village life. Their message, echoed by the Vermont Development Association (founded 1897), was distributed through such publications as Heart of the Green Mountains, By-Ways Illustrated, Summer Homes in Vermont, and The Vermonter, which presented the state as a summer recreational paradise and encouraged the purchase of old farms for seasonal use. From the 1890s on, rural-seeking out-of-staters acquired and rehabilitated farmhouses and village houses that fit their vision of an old Vermont homestead.15 Places like Old Bennington—which promoted itself as a Revolutionary shrine—Woodstock, Castleton, and Craftsbury Common were self-consciously re-presented as picture-perfect white frame and brick villages in Colonial and Greek Revival styles.

The interest in Vermont's historic roots produced early restoration projects of mixed quality. While work on some buildings, like Windsor's South Congregational Church (WS44) and Old Constitution House, produced a generic colonial style, on others, such as the Rockingham Meeting House (WH7), it was less intrusive. An appreciation for the qualities of early Vermont villages, churches, and houses was fostered by publication in the White Pine Series (1917–1920s), which carefully recorded historic details. Under such inspiration, restorations became increasingly archaeological, as seen in Middlebury's Congregational Church (AD21), Bennington's Old First Church (BE27), and East Poultney's First Baptist Church (RU63), and accurate historical details began to appear in some new construction. What was implicitly historical when the Queen Anne/Colonial Revival Westminster Town Hall (WH21) deliberately evoked Vermont's first courthouse in form became explicit when the Bennington Free Library (BE34) was designed as a pastiche of architectural quotations from well-known buildings across the state and the Bellerose House in Rutland (RU29) was built as a direct copy of the B. F. Langdon House in Castleton (RU50). During the Great Depression, New Deal programs such as the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Federal Writers' Project, as well as the Old Buildings Project of the University of Vermont, furthered appreciation of the state's architectural heritage. The important research and documentary photography of architect, historian, and summer-become-permanent-resident Herbert Wheaton Congdon were published in the 1940s in his Old Vermont Houses, The Covered Bridge, and a monograph on joiner Thomas R. Dake of Castleton.16

Congdon's Early American Homes for Today (1963) was a late manifestation of what had long been a popular practice in Vermont—creating new “colonial” design that mimicked the vocabulary of buildings from the eighteenth century through the 1840s. 17Colonial Revival domestic architecture appeared by 1893 in the Page House (LA6) in Hyde Park, and importantly in places like Woodstock and Bennington from the first decade of the twentieth century. It dominated middle-class residential construction and eclipsed the contemporary taste for the bungalow except in a few industrialized village locations, among them St. Albans, Bristol, Rutland, and Bennington.

Beginning in 1912 Colonial Revival dominated new construction on the campus of Middlebury College (AD30) for half a century, with contributions by Rossiter and Muller of New York City and Allen and Collens of Boston. McKim, Mead and White brought Colonial Revival to the University of Vermont in the 1920s (CH19.1), and Ames and Dodge of Boston brought it to Bennington College in the 1930s (BE17.1). It became the style of choice for town and city halls at Townshend and Burlington, a library at Guildhall, schools at Barton and Pawlet, an inn at Wallingford, and a state institution at Pittsford, and was eagerly embraced by regional architects, including New Hampshire–based Jens F. Larson of Larson and Wells in Lyndon (CA8), Charles A. Platt in Ferrisburgh (AD6), and Vermonters Lewis Sheldon Newton at Constitution House in Windsor, Arthur H. Smith in Rutland, and Payson Webber in West Haven.


While some urbanites found an escape from the turbulent pace of big-city life in a Colonial Revival house, others sought temporary refuge and healthy recreation in the state's natural assets. With fresh air and exercise encouraged to prevent tuberculosis and other diseases, the rationale for summer vacations evolved rapidly from leisure and games to purposeful recreation and exercise.18 Camp associations built tennis courts and boathouses and dozens of children's summer camps were established on lakes throughout the state, many of them adopting modified military barracks to house their charges. The automobile made more lakeshore accessible. Many local and out-of-state families built full-size summer houses, some with two-story halls or rambling plans and fine Craftsman or Adirondack Rustic detailing; others built simple variations on bungalow and foursquare plans, many with matching garages, just as in the newer city neighborhoods. At the same time colonies of small wooden camps within the means of many middle-class families from the region lined portions of the shorelines on the majority of lakes. Hiking, an activity for young and old alike, had advocates among educators and Vermont's elites. These men founded the Green Mountain Club in 1910; blazed the Long Trail, the first long-distance hiking trail in the United States; and met annually in an elaborate rustic log lodge (burned) at the top of Sherburne Pass. As the harvesting of the Green Mountain and northeast forests continued, and after several severe burns, forest conservation efforts gained ground, first with fire watchtowers and then with donations and purchases to establish town forests and the state forests and parks.19

The second quarter of the twentieth century was not generally a growth period for Vermont towns and industry. With the exceptions of Burlington, Springfield, and Windsor, where industrial expansion required company-sponsored worker housing, the economic boom that began after the Civil War waned, and even the largest towns were shrinking in population. Automobile use closed down the street railways. A disastrous flood in 1927 provided the impetus for rebuilding bridges and improving the road network, including the first bridge across Lake Champlain at Chimney Point in 1929. But this modernization did not change taste. Nor did the state's struggling economy encourage change. As a result, there is a paucity of modernist construction around the state. Art Deco buildings are sufficiently rare that the few to be seen in urban centers, including Burlington's Flynn Theater (CH29) and Rutland's Service Building (RU39), are acknowledged landmarks, and Brattleboro's Latchis Hotel and Theater (WH44) and Miss Bellows Falls Diner (WH10) in Bellows Falls have achieved something of a cult status. Economic hardship did, however, lead to a doubling of tourist accommodations, particularly along the improved highways. With state encouragement and extension service classes for guidance, farmers took in boarders and opened eateries, tearooms, and one-room tourist cabins. These appeared from Joe's Pond to Bridport and Alburg, built by farmers hoping to attract summer visitors traveling by automobile. Usually of light wood-frame construction, most succumbed to redevelopment or neglect after tastes moved to motels and chain restaurants. A few notable intact examples, such as the Dutch Mill motor court (CH57), offer insight into Vermont's early auto-tourism.

At the same time, a new industry began to develop in the mountains that would have a sweeping impact on the state's image and its buildings. In the 1920s collegiate and other winter sports clubs from urban areas, such as the Amateur Ski Club of New York City, began skiing down Vermont's steep hillsides, providing winter guests for hostelries from Bennington to Stowe. When the 1932 Winter Olympics in nearby Lake Placid, New York, started a skiing craze (given a boost by the Model T–powered rope tow debuted in Woodstock in 1934), Vermont hillsides as diverse as those in Corinth, Marlboro, Shrewsbury, and Mount Mansfield soon became ski destinations. In 1933 state forester Perry Merrill brought the federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to state parks and forests to develop visitor access, build rustic recreation structures, and clear ski trails on Mansfield, following similar CCC work in New Hampshire. The Green Mountain National Forest, established in 1928 and expanded more than a half-million acres in 1932, leased land to brewing heir and ski pioneer Fred Pabst Jr. to open Bromley Mountain in Peru in 1936, and the Meads of Rutland worked with the Proctors of Proctor to open Pico Peak in 1937. After national ski championships were held here in 1937 and 1938, and the first lease of state forest land for ski-area development in 1939, Stowe became “The Ski Capital of the East” with the highest and longest (one mile) ski chairlift in the world. The cobblestone and log shelters and finely crafted wooden family chalets built in Stowe remain among the most distinguished examples of the early rustic ski style, while the sport's growing popularity with its urban developers and aficionados was quickly reflected in the Moderne designs of base lodges and “ski lodge” accommodations.

The ongoing Depression and the Second World War also impelled many urbanites to seek refuge in Vermont. Writers and artists such as Robert Frost, Pearl S. Buck, Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, Vrest Orton, and Norman Rockwell burnished the state's country image as a romantic safe haven, contributing to the ongoing Colonial Revival by undertaking old house projects. In some cases they worked to preserve entire villages, such as Buck in Danby and Orton in Weston. Others developed an idiosyncratic owner-designed aesthetic, emphasizing use of exposed wood and stone, typified by Helen and Scott Nearing's house (BE4). Orton, a Vermont native and New York City magazine author and book lover, started his successful Vermont Country Store business in 1946 and helped found and edit Vermont Life Magazine the same year. In 1948 Orton helped organize the State Board of Historic Sites, which now owns and manages a number of properties, ranging from the Daniel Webster Memorial Half-Acre to the remarkably preserved village of Plymouth Notch, President Calvin Coolidge's birthplace (WS35).


World War II revived Vermont's cities and industrial villages as factories converted to war production and took on extra shifts. A housing shortage caused by the surge in workers in Springfield led to federally subsidized multifamily complexes not unlike those on military bases. After the war, however, most of the state's older industries and the railroads that depended upon them declined in the face of competition, obsolescence, and company relocations to lower-wage states. Consequently, the International Style favored by corporations and institutions in the 1950s and 1960s all but bypassed Vermont, with the exception of the Burlington area. The most notable builders of high-style modernism were the state's educational institutions, who commissioned work from Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott (CH19.2), Pietro Belluschi (BE17.2), Edward Durell Stone (WH30), and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. To a large degree the University of Vermont (UVM), Middlebury College, and Bennington College, joined in later years by Marlboro College, remain the state's most significant patrons of contemporary architecture. Whereas the work of the 1950s–1970s at these institutions tended to stress generic, universal tastes, beginning in the 1990s their buildings emphasize natural and built contexts and, increasingly, concerns with sustainability.

In Chittenden County the presence of IBM and General Electric doubled and tripled the population of the towns around Burlington, spurring construction of suburban subdivisions and commercial strips. Elsewhere in the state, manufacturing, farming, and population slowly declined. By 1960 there were fewer than thirteen thousand farms. Passenger train service stopped in the early 1950s and most freight lines disappeared or went into state ownership by the mid-1960s. The ski industry was a notable exception to the widespread economic contraction. Dozens of new ski areas, large and small, opened in the 1950s and boomed in the 1960s, followed by rapid construction of food and lodging businesses, seasonal ski houses, and housing for the personnel who staffed the slopes and restaurants. Though this development was usually located on the roads to the ski areas, it also transformed established villages nearby. From the light wood-frame dwelling types built at this time emerged the iconic vacation house of the 1960s when MIT architecture student Henrik Bull designed the first experimental A-frame on the East Coast in 1953 as a ski lodge (demolished) in Stowe. In 1958 a logger in Dover built twenty small houses for rental housing near Mount Snow using the first modular A-frame design, which he patented in 1961. During the social ferment of the 1960s, as many of the baby boomer generation decided to “ski bum” for a few years in Vermont or to “get back to the land” as had the Nearings (which they recorded in their 1954 book, Living the Good Life), A-frames, “chalets,” and owner-designed houses-in-the-woods proliferated near ski areas and outside college towns.

As Vermont's population began to grow for the first time in decades, the mixture of tradition and recreational appeal that endeared the state to generations of urbanites, and was regularly promoted by Vermont Life Magazine, was suddenly vulnerable to mainstream forces in American planning and development. These arrived resoundingly in Vermont with the construction of the interstate highway system between 1968 and 1978. By 1978, 80 percent of the state's population lived within thirty miles of an interstate. As Vermont became easily accessible by motor vehicle from the East Coast megalopolis, accelerating tourism and immigration, the state increasingly adopted the standards of the megalopolis: long commutes to work, sprawl dispersing formerly tight village fabrics, chain retail big boxes on highways competing with local downtown businesses, suburban housing developments or large trophy houses occupying acres of former agricultural and wooded land, and condominium “villages” at major ski areas. Farms faced plummeting milk prices and inflating fuel costs, and former factory towns organized industrial parks on U.S. highways and interstates hoping to attract new manufacturing and employers.

In the midst of the state's homogenization, a reaction against modernist universality and architectural monotony gave rise to Vermont's own brand of postmodernism. Its roots lay in the “hippie” architecture and the improvisational design/build ethic of the late 1960s. At its core was a group of experimentally minded young architects from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania who gathered around the charismatic David Sellers to build a speculative community of self-consciously “wacky” vacation houses on Prickly Mountain (WA51) in Warren. Their experiments captured the imagination of the national press, their housing became permanent, and many made their careers in Vermont. Sellers began a short-lived architectural program at Goddard College in Plainfield, where his student-designed buildings of salvaged and donated materials won international attention. His associate John Connell founded the Yestermorrow Design/Build School that still offers short courses in hands-on construction. In the Champlain Valley, Turner Brooks, a product of the Kent Bloomer and Charles Moore era at Yale, launched a national career with a series of modestly scaled but intensely individualistic houses that manipulated and transformed the Vermont vernacular. The movement has matured into a strongly rooted domestic architectural aesthetic stressing an Arts and Crafts–like appreciation of local materials, formal innovation, individuality, self-sufficiency, and sustainability, all of which have become an important part of the contemporary Vermont self-image.20


Recently the state has sought ways to deal with the challenge of conserving its particular character while remaining a participant in contemporary culture. Shoddy ski-related housing developments with septic issues provided the environmental impetus for the state to enable zoning by towns beginning in 1968 and for passage of a statewide land use control law (Act 250) in 1970. (This law regulates development of more than ten acres using public capacity and environmental and other resource criteria.) Joining in the environmental push, the Board of Historic Sites became the State Historic Preservation Office and in 1972 the Division for Historic Preservation. The division began to survey and record historic buildings and archaeological sites worthy of consideration in federally funded or licensed activities, opposed demolition of such landmarks as the Windsor House (WS39) and the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, and built support for the Vermont Historic Preservation Act of 1975. Among the first “surveyors” attracted to the state was the energetic and insightful Chester H. Liebs, who founded the Historic Preservation Program at UVM and the Society for Commercial Archeology in the 1970s, wrote From Main Street to Miracle Mile (1985), and inspired several generations of professional preservationists in Vermont both nationally and internationally. The Preservation Trust of Vermont, organized in 1980 to promote private preservation activity within the state, became a key partner with the division as it developed its small grant, architectural survey, and review activities and trained a cadre of Vermont preservationists to constructively engage and promote partnerships within government and communities throughout the state. In 1985 the legislature created the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, initiating the organization of regional housing and land trusts, which have since undertaken many important historic building and agricultural landscape preservation efforts. This broad conservation ethic challenged bigbox commercial development and sprawl, and produced the first listing of an entire state (Vermont) in the National Trust's Eleven Most Endangered List in 1993, the organization of the Orton Foundation Forum on Sprawl in 1998, and state legislation creating the Vermont Downtown Program in 1999 to strengthen traditional downtowns and village centers. Analysts agree that these and other conservation initiatives have largely spared Vermont from the real estate bubbles and default-fueled economic disruptions of 1999– 2001 and after 2007.

A second listing of the state in the Eleven Most Endangered List in 2004 served to emphasize the ongoing vulnerability of Vermont's resources. Slow but steady development pressures together with the economic and social trends that have transformed downtowns, weakened villages, and demoted agriculture to third and fourth place in the state's economy continue to fray the wondrous tapestry of “urban” centers and smaller villages set in an otherwise rural landscape. Fire and flood also continue to take their tolls. In 2011 major fires struck historic structures in Brattleboro and Burlington, and Tropical Storm Irene triggered the state's worst and most widespread flooding since 1927. The storm wreaked havoc with roads and bridges and in the many village centers that grew at good waterpower and milling sites on rivers. Fortunately, the significant buildings selected for this volume survived. Ongoing efforts to turn back downtown-devastating big-box development, raise money to rejuvenate community landmarks, and purchase development rights to keep enough land affordable for farming strengthen what remains. And what remains is remarkable in its range, richness, and individual distinction, as the buildings described in this book heartily attest.


Jay Walljasper, “133 Places Rated,” National Geographic Traveler (November–December 2009): 48; “America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places,” Preservation Magazine 56 (July–August 2004): 18.

William J. Wilgus, The Role of Transportation in the Development of Vermont (Montpelier: Vermont Historical Society, 1945), 45–46; Michael Sherman et al., Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont (Barre: Vermont Historical Society, 2004), 73–80; Colin G. Calloway, The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600–1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990).

Anthony N. B. Garvan, Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial Connecticut (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1951); James L. Garvin, “The Range Township in Eighteenth Century New Hampshire,” in New England Prospect: Maps, Place Names, and the Historic Landscape, ed. Peter Benes, Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, 1980 (Boston: Boston University Press, 1981), 52–72.

Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey and Vermont Archeological Inventory, manuscripts housed at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Montpelier; Curtis B. Johnson and Elsa Gilbertson, eds., The Historic Architecture of Rutland County (Montpelier: Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1988), 2–3.

Manuscripts MSS 32, nos. 6 and 8, Vermont Historical Society, Barre.

John Quinan, “Asher Benjamin as an Architect in Windsor, Vermont,” Vermont History 42, no. 2 (Spring 1974): 181–94.

William Hosley, “Architecture and Society of the Urban Frontier: Windsor, Vermont, in 1800,” in The Bay and the River: 1600–1900, ed. Peter Benes, Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, 1981 (Boston: Boston University Press, 1982), 73–86.

Glenn M. Andres, “Architectural Elegance: Lavius Fillmore's Refinement of the New England Meetinghouse,” Walloomsack Review (October 2008): 18–33.

William Warren Lamson, “Peter Banner, Architect of the Burlington Church,” Old Time New England (July–December 1978): 48–70.

Hosley, “Architecture and Society,” 84.

Benjamin Bosworth Smith, “Church Edifices,” in The Episcopal Register, 4 vols. (Middlebury, Vt.: J. W. Copeland, 1826–1829), March 1827, vol. II, no. 3, 41–42.

John Henry Hopkins, Essay on Gothic Architecture (Burlington, Vt.: Smith and Harrington, 1836).

A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farmhouses, and Villas (New York: D. Appleton ,& Co., 1850), 222–23; Byron D. Halsted, Barn Plans and Outbuildings (New York: Orange Judd Co., 1881). For most counties in Vermont, also see F. W. Beers, Atlases (New York: F. W. Beers, 1868–1878) and H. W. Burgett, Illustrated Topographical and Historical Atlas of the State of Vermont (New York: H. W. Burgett & Co., 1876).

Christopher A. Cain et al., eds., The Burlington Book: Architecture, History, Future (Burlington: Historic Preservation Program, Department of History, University of Vermont, 1980).

Rutland Railroad Company, Heart of the Green Mountains (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill Press, 1897); Central Vermont Railroad Company, By-Ways Illustrated (New York: Press of the American Bank Note Company, 1889); State Board of Agriculture, Summer Homes in Vermont: The Resources and Attractions of Vermont With a List of Desirable Homes for Sale (Montpelier, Vt.: Watchman Publishing Company, 1891); The Vermonter (St. Albans, Vt.: Charles S. Forbes, 1890–1895).

Herbert Wheaton Congdon, Old Vermont Houses: The Architecture of a Resourceful People (Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Daye Press, 1940); The Covered Bridge: An Old American Landmark Whose Romance, Stability, and Craftsmanship Are Typified by the Structures Remaining in Vermont (Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Daye Press, 1941); Dake of Castleton (Montpelier: Vermont Historical Society, 1949).

Herbert Wheaton Congdon, Early American Homes for Today: A Treasury of Decorative Details and Restoration Procedures (Rutland, Vt.: C. E. Tuttle Co., 1963).

Susannah Clifford, “Retreat to Vermont” (master's thesis, Columbia University, 1987); Harold F. Wilson, The Hill Country of Northern New England: Its Social and Economic History, 1790–1930 (New York: AMS Press, 1967); Arthur Stone, The Vermont of Today, with Its Historic Background, Attractions, and People (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1929), 737–40; Elizabeth Pritchett, “Organized Summer Camping in Vermont,” National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Nomination (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2003).

Stone, Vermont of Today, 289–99; Sherman et al., Freedom and Unity, 381.

Janie Cohen, ed., Architectural Improvisation: A History of Vermont's Design/Build Movement 1964–1977 (Burlington: University of Vermont Press and the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, 2009).


Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

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