Evolution of Our Built Environment

Fleming Museum goers observed Burlington in a whole new light: through the eyes of the past builders, planners and people pushing to evolve Vermont into the place we often take for granted today.

The Fleming Museum’s newest exhibit, Burlington and Winooski 1920 – 2020: The Evolution of our Built Environment, is a timeline that studies what the two cities might have been, and why they are the way they are today.

Through the form of photos, models and drawings, you can observe the economic and environmental changes that reshaped so much of Burlington and Winooski over the years. Many of these designs are attributed to John Anderson, a Vermonter and widely acclaimed architect.

For the first time, the Fleming Museum has also incorporated video media. Viewers can sit down in front of a monitor and virtually experience scenes from the past.

On display are blueprints and sketches that show plans for the future plans that you might have not expected.

The blueprints raised the question of why some of these other plans were left disregarded, and what would happen if some of these ideas had not been followed through.

The exhibit also examines how environmental occurrences greatly impacted the land of Burlington and Winooski.

Presently, when strolling on downtown streets or scrambling to get to your next class, you do not see the great elms that used to cover Burlington and Winooski. While visiting the waterfront, you no longer smell industrial fumes from the rail freights that used to be there.

A mixture of old and new art displays these changes, giving a walkthrough to the disease that killed the Dutch Elms that no longer decorate our land, and the floods and fires that destroyed the old and made way for the new.

The exhibit is open until June 24 for anyone to get a glimpse of what was, what might have been and what is now in the Winooski and Burlington environment.