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Church Street Marketplace (to Pearl Street), Burlington, Vermont USA • View from the fourth floor of the old Opera House, to The First Unitarian Universalist Society Church, at the north terminus of the Marketplace. ∆ Erected in 1816 when Burlington was a small town, the Unitarian Church is located on a lot purchased in 1814. The land originally extended to North Street and included Elmwood Cemetery. All houses in the area bounded by Elmwood Avenue, Grant Street and Clarke Street are built upon land still leased to their owners by the church. …


The Boston architect Peter Banner, who also drew plans for the Boston Park Street Church. The building, solidly constructed with large hand-hewed timbers from the Brown's River area of Jericho, held together with wooden pins, has been remodeled several times, inside and out. In 1845 it was "Greek Revivalized" with addition of the massive cornice, bricked-in shortened windows, and brick pilasters at the corners. In 1832 blinds in the spire were removed and glazed windows with fanlights installed. …


The present church bell and clock date from 1928. The "town clock" is a Howard, made by the same company that manufactured the large clocks at Ira Allen Chapel at UVM and the one at City Hall. It replaced one donated by Hervey Burnett in 1873. Before his gift, clock faces covered only three sides of thew tower, but Burnett insisted there be four so that the people in the ten rapidly expanding North End could know the time of day also.


• On the left: The former Masonic Temple (1897); now a massive superblock, housing shops and offices. It was designed by Wilson Brothers of Philadelphia, who also did Wilson Hall at UVM. Romanesque Revival style topped by a pyramidal hipped roof.


☞ These structures (as a part of the Church Street Historic District) have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#09000915), since July 29, 2010.


☞ For some dates & historical details, I am indebted to the Chittenden County Historical Society, and their fine, three volume set: Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods: Vol. I, 1991; Vol. II, 1997; Vol. III, 2003. David J. Blow, author; Lillian Baker Carlisle, Editor; Sarah L. Dopp, photographs.


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Taken on May 6, 2011