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The expansion of Burlington's post–Civil War lumber industry fueled a residential building boom, aided by the construction of a waterworks that brought municipal water to the hill district, the completion of the street grid made possible by the filling of the ravine, and the subdivision of large estates like that of Lawrence Barnes. As a result, new neighborhoods east and southeast of downtown display the most extensive, varied, and exuberant collection of Queen Anne houses to be found in Vermont.

Middle-class houses were built primarily of wood, exhibiting the finished products of Burlington's mills with their profusion of imbricated shingles, turned posts, verandas, oriels, jetties, hoods, brackets, and carved panels. Earlier examples, like that for wood-products manufacturer C. F. Macomber at 193 Maple Street by W. H. Townsend in 1884, are marked by a busy variety of form and texture. By the 1890s, though, the houses became more expansive, unified, and sculptural, like the row on S. Willard Street between Buell and Pearl streets. This period is exemplified by the house of feed merchant C. S. Isham 1891 at 45 S. Willard with its weighty hipped roof, coordinated jetties, and wraparound porch on bulbous turned posts. Some houses drew upon a richer mixture of materials—stone, brick, and slate—and resolved forms more typical of the mansions on the hill, notably the McGreary House of 1896 by local architect W. R. B. Willcox at 266 S. Union Street with its round turret and Colonial Revival paired porch columns.

The grand houses of the lumber, banking, legal, and patent-drug barons on Main, S. Prospect, and S. Willard streets utilized the designs of major out-of-state and local architects. Daniel Robinson introduced the Shingle Style with his asymmetrically picturesque house 1885–1886 at 384 Main Street designed by the Boston firm of Peabody and Stearns. At least as noteworthy are two towered piles at 285 and 301 S. Willard Street 1889 and 1888, respectively built by A. B. Fisher to designs of his son and partner, Clellan. Their complex unity of form clearly shows the influence of Clellan's work in Albany with the Richardsonian firm of Fuller and Wheeler. Among the grandest hill houses was that at 225 S. Willard Street of 1897 designed by W. R. B. Willcox for banker Charles P. Smith, who was speculatively involved in the development of the King–Maple–South Winooski neighborhood. Built of dark brick, Longmeadow sandstone, and rock-faced Willard Ledge stone, Smith's house combines the requisite picturesque tower and expansive veranda with Tudor Revival dormer profiles and a Palladian loggia.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson



Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "BURLINGTON'S QUEEN ANNE HOUSES", SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/essays/VT-01-ART150.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 150-150.

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