History thrives in downtown Queen City

Many cities in the United States have buildings rich with history, including Burlington. It contains a great deal of buildings that represent what the city used to be like and what made it the way it is today. Every Saturday at 11 a.m., Preservation Burlington meets downtown to give a historical and architectural tour of the city. The tour started on the corner of Church and College streets and looped around the downtown area. The must-sees of the tour are the following: 1. Burlington City Hall — 149 Church St. Built in 1928, City Hall is the third city hall built at this location. It was designed by a very successful architecture firm, McKim, Mead & White, and represents colonial revival architecture. The firm also designed the Waterman building and Ira Allen Chapel on UVM’s campus. On the outside of the building, you can see the official seal of Burlington, and it is the only place where you see this. This building was considered so modern at the time it was built that more than 30,000 people traveled to Burlington to walk through the building the day it opened. 2. Ethan Allen Fire House — 135 Church St. Now the Firehouse Art Gallery, this building used to be the Ethan Allen Fire House. It was born in 1886 and represents Romanesque revival architecture. The firehouse was not only used as a volunteer fire company, but also as a social club. The firehouse became part of the city fire department in 1895. One of the most unique features of an old firehouse is the tall towers that were used to dry the hose after fighting a fire. 3. Flynn Theater — 153 Main St. The Flynn Theater was built in 1930 by J.J. Flynn and represents the art deco style. It was originally built as a movie house and was the first place in Vermont to screen movies with sound. When the theater was built, it was during a time when movie theaters were designed to look incredibly modern, with clean lines and geometric shapes. The theater went through a rough period when fewer people were locally going to the movies. Starting in the 1980s it was restored. 4. City Hall Park This space used to be the heart of Burlington’s retail district. When the park was created, buildings were removed from the area in order to preserve the space as a park. People gathered in this area and brought their animals, which became a problem. Because of this, the city banned wheeled traffic and animals in the park in 1880. Before animals became a problem, the fountain in the park was made low and shallow so that the animals could drink from it. 5. Richardson Block — 127 College St. The Richardson Block consists of buildings that were used as the main office of Wells and Richardson, a wholesale drug manufacturing company. The buildings were built in 1883 and re0present the Victorian commercial style. This company was the biggest company in Burlington. The building uses unique materials, like terracotta, that were unique to the area. There is also a great deal of local, granite stone. 6. Citizens Bank Building — 148 College St. This building was designed in 1900 by Walter Wilcox, an architect who was only in his 20s when the building was constructed. It represents Flemish revival architecture with unique gables sticking up next to the tower. It was originally built for Burlington Savings Bank. In 1959, it became the first building in the state to have a time and temperature clock and also the first to have an ATM.