Burlington, Vermont

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Burlington, Vermont
City
City of Burlington, Vermont
From top to bottom, going left to right: Burlington skyline viewed from Lake Champlain, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Church Street Marketplace, Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and Historic Site, Old Mill building on the University of Vermont campus, Battery Park, and Gutterson Fieldhouse.
From top to bottom, going left to right: Burlington skyline viewed from Lake Champlain, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Church Street Marketplace, Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and Historic Site, Old Mill building on the University of Vermont campus, Battery Park, and Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Official seal of Burlington, Vermont
Seal
Nickname(s): The Queen City,[1][2] The West Coast of New England[3][4]
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.
Burlington, Vermont is located in USA
Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°28′33″N 073°12′43″W / 44.47583°N 73.21194°W / 44.47583; -73.21194Coordinates: 44°28′33″N 073°12′43″W / 44.47583°N 73.21194°W / 44.47583; -73.21194[5]
Country United States
State Vermont
County Chittenden
Settled 1783
Organized (town) 1785
Incorporated (city) 1865
Government
 • Mayor Miro Weinberger (Democrat)
Area
 • City 15.5 sq mi (40.1 km2)
 • Land 10.3 sq mi (26.7 km2)
 • Water 5.2 sq mi (13.4 km2)
Elevation[5] 200 ft (61 m)
Population (2010)[6]
 • City 42,417
 • Estimate (2015)[7] 42,452
 • Rank U.S.: 870th
 • Density 4,121.5/sq mi (1,581.3/km2)
 • Urban 108,740 (U.S.: 285th)
 • Urban density 1,760.8/sq mi (679.8/km2)
 • Metro 214,796 (U.S.: 203rd)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 05401–05402, 05405–05406, 05408
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-10675
GNIS feature ID 1456663[5][8]
Website www.burlingtonvt.gov

Burlington, Vermont is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the county seat of Chittenden County. The municipality is the center of the Burlington, Vermont metropolitan area and lies 45 miles (72 km) south of the CanadaUnited States (Quebec–Vermont) border and 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal. The municipal population was 42,452 according to a 2015 U.S. census estimate.[9] Burlington is the least populous city in the U.S. to be the most populous within a state.

A regional college town, the city is home to the University of Vermont (UVM) and Champlain College, a small private college. Vermont's largest hospital, the UVM Medical Center, is located within the municipal limits. Burlington became the first city in the U.S. to run completely on renewable energy in 2015.[10]

Etymology[edit]

Two theories have been put forward for the origin of Burlington's name. The first is that it was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, while the second is that the name honors the politically prominent and wealthy Burling family of New York. While no Burling family members are listed as grantees of the town, the family held large tracts of land in nearby towns, some of which were granted on the same day as Burlington.[11]

History[edit]

Church Street in 1907
The Van Ness House hotel, built in 1870, burned down in 1951

One of the New Hampshire grants, the land that was developed as Burlington was awarded by Governor Benning Wentworth on June 7, 1763 to Samuel Willis and 63 others.[12] In the summer of 1775, settlers began clearing land and built two or three log huts, but the outbreak of the Revolution delayed permanent settlement until after its conclusion. In 1783, Stephen Lawrence arrived with his family. The town was organized in 1785.[12]

The War of 1812 was unpopular in Vermont and New England, which had numerous trading ties with Canada. Neither Vermont nor other New England states provided militia units or financial support. Vermont voters supported the Federalist party, which opposed the war.[13] At one point during the war, the U.S. had 5,000 troops stationed in Burlington, outnumbering residents and putting a strain on resources. About 500 soldiers died of disease, which was always a problem due to poor sanitation in army camps.[14] Some soldiers were quartered in the main building at the University of Vermont, where a memorial plaque commemorates them.[15]

In a skirmish on August 2, 1813, the British shelled Burlington. Depending on who relates the account, this is described either as a bold stroke by the British with an ineffectual response from the Americans, or a weak sally by the British, properly ignored by the Americans. The cannonade lasted for about 10 minutes and did not affect the outcome of the war. The American side was commanded by Naval Lieutenant Thomas Macdonough, later hero of the Battle of Lake Champlain.[13]

The town's position on Lake Champlain helped it develop into a port of entry and center for trade, particularly after completion of the Champlain Canal in 1823, the Erie Canal in 1825, and the Chambly Canal in 1843. Wharves allowed steamboats to connect freight and passengers with the Rutland & Burlington Railroad and Vermont Central Railroad. Burlington became a bustling lumbering and manufacturing center and was incorporated as a city in 1865. Its Victorian era prosperity left behind much fine architecture, including buildings by Ammi B. Young, H.H. Richardson, and McKim, Mead & White.

In 1870, the waterfront was extended by construction of the Pine Street Barge Canal.[16] This became polluted over the years and was a focus for cleanup in 2009 under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program.[17]

Late 20th century to present[edit]

In 1978 the ice cream enterprise Ben & Jerry's was founded in Burlington in a renovated gas station. It became a national brand, with retail outlets in numerous cities.

In 2007, the city was named one of the top four "places to watch" in the United States by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).[18] The ratings were based on what was perceived as ideal qualities for older residents. Criteria included the factors that make a community livable: new urbanism, smart growth, mixed-use development, and easy-living standards.

Forbes magazine ranked the city in 2010 as one of the "prettiest" towns in America, featuring a picture of the Church Street Marketplace on its cover.[19]

Geography and climate[edit]

Lake Champlain from the Burlington wharves
Burlington
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.1
 
 
27
10
 
 
1.8
 
 
31
13
 
 
2.2
 
 
40
22
 
 
2.8
 
 
55
35
 
 
3.5
 
 
67
45
 
 
3.7
 
 
76
55
 
 
4.2
 
 
81
60
 
 
3.9
 
 
79
59
 
 
3.6
 
 
70
51
 
 
3.6
 
 
57
39
 
 
3.1
 
 
46
31
 
 
2.4
 
 
33
19
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NOAA [20]

Burlington is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Shelburne Bay. It was built on a strip of land extending about 6 miles (9.7 km) south from the mouth of the Winooski River along the lake shore, and rises from the water's edge to a height of 300 feet (91 m).[21]

A large ravine in what is now downtown was filled in with refuse and raw sewage in the 19th century to make way for further development.[22]

Climate[edit]

Burlington has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), with cold winters and very warm, humid summers. The monthly daily average temperatures ranges from 18.7 °F (−7.4 °C) in January to 70.6 °F (21.4 °C) in July. The annual precipitation of 36.8 inches (935 mm) is well-distributed throughout the year, but the summer months are the wettest. The city's location east of Lake Champlain sometimes accounts for localized snow squalls, producing up to 13 inches (33 cm) in 12 hours on rare occasions.[23] Annual snowfall averages 81.2 inches (206 cm), but this figure can fluctuate greatly from one year to another. Extremes have ranged from −30 °F (−34 °C) on January 15, 1957 and February 12, 1979 to 101 °F (38 °C) on August 11, 1944.[20] The most snowfall from a single storm is 33.1 inches (84.1 cm), which fell January 2–3, 2010.[24]

For the Northeast United States, a heat wave is defined as having three consecutive days of 90 °F (32 °C) or more. There were six such heat waves from 2000–2009.[25]


Burlington, as seen from Lake Champlain in 2010

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 330
1800 816 147.3%
1810 1,690 107.1%
1820 2,111 24.9%
1830 3,526 67.0%
1840 4,271 21.1%
1850 7,585 77.6%
1860 7,713 1.7%
1870 13,596 76.3%
1880 11,365 −16.4%
1890 14,590 28.4%
1900 18,640 27.8%
1910 20,468 9.8%
1920 22,779 11.3%
1930 24,789 8.8%
1940 27,686 11.7%
1950 33,155 19.8%
1960 35,531 7.2%
1970 38,633 8.7%
1980 37,712 −2.4%
1990 39,127 3.8%
2000 38,889 −0.6%
2010 42,417 9.1%
Est. 2015 42,452 [28] 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[29]

As of the census of 2010, 42,417 people were residing in the city. Over a total of 16,851 households, the average number of persons per household was 2.13.[30]

The median household income for the city was $42,677, and the per capita income was $25,441.

Ethnicity and race as of the 2010 Census:

Group Percent Notes
White 88.9% (87.3% whites not of Latino origin)
African American or Black 3.8%
Asian 3.6%
Hispanic or Latino 2.8%
Two or more races 2.6%
Other races 0.49%
Native American 0.3%
Pacific Islander 0.11%

Transportation[edit]

Bus[edit]

Burlington is the central focus of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA), providing bus service to and from the surrounding communities (and the shopping districts of South Burlington and Williston).

On June 15, 2011, the CCTA announced that it had changed its charter, effective July 1, 2011, to allow municipalities outside Chittenden County to join CCTA as member communities, thereby allowing CCTA to become Vermont’s first regional transit authority. As part of its expansion, the CCTA will merge with the Green Mountain Transit Authority (GMTA), which provides bus service in the Barre/Montpelier area and surrounding communities in central Vermont.[31]

Greyhound provides intercity bus service from the Burlington International Airport to other communities in Vermont, and to Montreal's Gare d'autocars de Montreal and Boston's South Station and Logan International Airport. Premier Coach's Vermont Translines also provides intercity bus service between Burlington and Albany, New York along the US Route 7 corridor in a partnership with Greyhound, also from the Burlington International Airport.[32] Megabus provides non-stop service between Burlington and Boston, and service to New York City by two routes, with intermediate stops in Saratoga Springs, New York, or in Amherst, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut.

Burlington's Union Station was built in 1916 by the Central Vermont Railway and the Rutland Railroad. It now serves only tourist rail operations.

Rail[edit]

From the late nineteenth century to 1953, the Rutland Railroad provided passenger service on the Green Mountain Flyer and the Mount Royal from Burlington to Chatham, New York in Columbia County, with connecting service to New York City via the New York Central Railroad. The last train north to run to Alburgh (Vermont), in the extreme northwest of the state, was in 1948. From 1916 Rutland Railroad service was provided at the new Union Station on the Lake Champlain waterfront.[33] From 2000 to 2003, the Champlain Flyer was a commuter service from Burlington south to the town of Charlotte, Vermont.

Since the closure of the Champlain Flyer, Burlington has had no active railroad connections. An Amtrak station is located 7 miles (11 km) away in the village of Essex Junction, Vermont.

In January 2013, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proposed extending the Ethan Allen Express from Rutland, Vermont to Burlington. The proposal would create a regional rail corridor connecting Albany (New York), Saratoga Springs (New York), Rutland, and Burlington, which have combined metro populations of around 1.25 million inhabitants.[34]

Air[edit]

Air carriers at Burlington International Airport provide the area with commercial service to major regional hubs and international airports. While scheduled carriers have not traditionally offered scheduled commercial flights to destinations outside the United States, there is a Customs Port of Entry for unscheduled flights.[35] In December 2011, Porter Airlines began offering winter seasonal commercial service to and from Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, Canada's most populous city.[36]

Major roads[edit]

Burlington is served by one major Interstate highway, along with its spur route into the southern part of the city, and is at the junction of two U.S. highways. Several Vermont state highways also provide routes into and through the Burlington area.

  • I-89.svg Interstate 89 – Though it does not directly enter the Burlington city limits, I-89 has interchanges in neighboring South Burlington, Winooski, and Colchester that provide access to downtown.
  • I-189.svg Interstate 189 – I-189 connects I-89 in South Burlington to U.S. 7 at the southern end of Burlington.
  • US 2.svg U.S. Route 2 is the main east-west route entering Burlington. After entering the city from the east, westbound U.S. 2 turns north to run concurrently with U.S. 7 towards Winooski and Colchester. The intersection with Interstate 89 is used by 42,000 cars daily.[37]
  • US 7.svg U.S. Route 7 is the main north-south route through Burlington. Northbound U.S. 7 joins westbound U.S. 2 in downtown Burlington, and the two routes run concurrently north to Colchester.
  • Ellipse sign 127.svg Vermont Route 127 connects the downtown and the Old North End with the New North End and the town of Colchester. Throughout the New North End, VT-127 is a limited-access highway known officially as the Winooski Valley Parkway though commonly known as the Burlington Beltline.

Ferry service[edit]

Burlington is the headquarters of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, a privately held company that offers ferry service for the North Country of New York and the Champlain Valley region of Vermont. Summer seasonal service is available from Burlington's King Street Dock to Port Kent, New York. Two lines of year-round 24-hour service are provided from the nearby towns of Grand Isle, Vermont to Plattsburgh, New York and Charlotte, Vermont to Essex, New York.[38]

Economy[edit]

Burlington's economy centers on education, health services, trade, transportation, and utilities, and some manufacturing. In 2011, the city had an unemployment rate of 4.8%, which was the 6th lowest of all metro areas. Real wages were $39,980 in 2006 constant dollars and remained there to 2010; the state was $33,385; the nation, $36,871.[39]

In 2009, Moody's confirmed the city's bond rating at AA3, "high" quality, the second best rank,[40] but in 2010, the city-owned Burlington Telecom cable provider was unable to pay the city of Burlington $17 million it owed. As a result, Moody's downrated the debt for the city two notches to A2, "upper medium". Moody's also downrated the credit rating for Burlington International Airport.[41]

Personal income[edit]

As of the census of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $33,070, and the median income for a family was $46,012. Males had a median income of $30,144 versus $25,270 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,011. About 10.4% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.[citation needed]

For the 4,989 single-family owner-occupied homes, the median value was $131,200.[citation needed]

Business and industry[edit]

The largest employers in the city proper are the University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care) and the University of Vermont, employing 6,823 and 3,137 people, respectively. Other companies in Burlington include the G.S. Blodgett Company, one of the oldest and largest commercial oven companies in the country, which manufactures restaurant equipment. Its history dates back to the mid-19th century. General Electric develops software for the healthcare industry in South Burlington at the former headquarters of IDX Systems, which it purchased in 2006. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products division employs 450 workers locally. A solely owned subsidiary, the division is based here.[42] Dealer.com, a leading automotive internet marketing company, employed over 450 employees as of March 2011.[43]

Ben & Jerry's began in 1978 when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first ice cream scoop shop in an old gas station in Burlington.[44] Vermont Teddy Bear Company whose founder started on a cart on a Burlington street now ships custom teddy bears worldwide.[citation needed]

Corporate headquarters located in Burlington include Burton Snowboards, Bruegger's, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Rhino Foods, and Seventh Generation Inc.[citation needed]

Retailing and tourism[edit]

One measure of economic activity is retail sales. Burlington was fifth in the state in 2007 with $242.2 million.[45]

The Church Street Marketplace, a four-block pedestrian mall in the heart of the city, is the site of festivals throughout the year. Events such as the "South End Art Hop" and public galleries such as Pine Street Art Works, provide a forum for the visual arts in the South End. The American Planning Association named the Marketplace one of America's "Great Public Spaces" for 2008.[46]

A "Festival of Fools" had an estimated 25,000 attendees at the Marketplace in 2009.[47] The "Vermont Brewers Festival" had 9,600 attendees in 2009,[47] and the "Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival" had 5,000 attendees that same year; Saturday Night Live satirized the event.[47] One of the largest year-round farmers markets in the state is located in the city.[citation needed]

Real estate[edit]

In 2008, vacancy rates for office space reached 4.5%, high for the city, but low compared to the surrounding suburbs.[citation needed]

Government[edit]

Burlington City Hall (1928) at the intersection of Church Street and Main Street, in 2013

Burlington has a city council-mayor form of government.[48] Democrats and the Progressive Party make up the majority of the council. Miro Weinberger, the current mayor,[49] is a Democrat who was first elected in 2012.[50] The City Council has twelve seats, which are currently occupied by four Democrats, four Progressives, three Independent, and one Republican.[51]

Current U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington from 1981 to 1989. His election in 1981 unseated the longstanding Mayor, Gordon Paquette, drastically changing the political landscape of the city. The new Mayor Sanders created a government that was run by young Progressives, including Peter Clavelle, who was elected Mayor when Sanders stepped down to run for higher office. Peter Clavelle, Burlington's longest serving mayor, held that office from 1989 to 1993, and again from 1995 to 2006.[52]

Along the eighties, the successive reelections of a self-proclaimed "socialist" has drawn attention from the national media. Sanders has managed to dispel the notion that his first victory, secured by a narrow margin, would have been "just a fluke".[53]

The large transient student population votes in local, state, and national elections, resulting in a considerable impact on local elections.[54] The city signed up 2,527 new voters in the six weeks from September 1, 2008, the highest number for that time frame in over nine years.[55]

The city was ranked "average" nationally in political involvement in 2008. Criteria included percentage registered to vote, percentage participating in most recent elections and campaign contributions.[56]

As a non-profit institution, the University of Vermont pays no real estate taxes, though like many other schools, it does make an annual payment in lieu of taxes. In 2007, the college agreed to raise this from $456,006 to $912,011 in 2010 plus a "public works" supplement rising from $180,040 to $191,004 over the same time frame.[57]

The city maintains three parks on Lake Champlain. One is free, while the other two have parking fees.

Public library[edit]

The Carnegie Building of the Fletcher Free Library in 2013

The Fletcher Free Library at 235 College Street at the corner of South Winooski Avenue was established in 1873, endowed by Mary Martha Fletcher, the daughter of a local businessman, but outgrew its initial building on Church Street by 1901. A new building was constructed in 1901-04 with funds provided by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, making it the first of the four Carnegie libraries in the state. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Walter R. B. Willcox of Burlington, who won a competition to receive the commission.[58]

The building had major settling problems in 1973 where it had been built over a former railroad ravine, which had been improperly filled in, and the library's collection was moved elsewhere. The possible razing of the building was stopped by a citizens' committee, which successfully had it added to the National Register of Historic Places, and a grant allowed the stabilization and repair of the building. A new modern addition was completed in 1981.[58][59]

The largest public library in Vermont, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fletcher Free Library had a budget of over $1 million in 2002. It circulated more books, had more visitors, and had more computers, than any other library in Vermont.[60] In addition to its primary services as Burlington's public library, it is also a community center, a cultural resource for newly arrived immigrants to the Burlington area, and the City's only free public access computer center.

Infrastructure[edit]

The city has municipal fiber broadband, which provides telephone, broadband internet, and television.[61] In 2008, cable management tried to drop Al-Jazeera English from the lineup. This was successfully thwarted by protesters and the station was, in 2009, one of three "small cable operators" in the nation to carry this channel.[62][63]

Like many Vermont municipalities, Burlington owns its own power company, Burlington Electric Department. In 2009, the department announced that it would purchase 40% of the 40 MW Sheffield, Vermont wind-generated electricity when it becomes available.[64]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Burlington is organized into neighborhoods generally recognized by residents, but without any legal or political authority.

  • Downtown: North of Maple Street, south of Pearl Street (including all properties along Pearl Street), and west of Willard Street
  • Hill Section: Burlington's wealthiest neighborhood is east of U.S. Route 7 (Shelburne Road and South Willard Street) and south of U.S. Route 2 (Main Street), but excludes UVM and University Terrace, while including all of Champlain College.[65] The Hill Section is where the Burlington Country Club is situated.
  • The Intervale: The Intervale cannot be considered a neighborhood but is a large area encompassing many locally owned organic farms and natural preserves along the Winooski River. It is included on this list because its total area is larger than that of most neighborhoods in Burlington.
  • New North End: Burlington's most populous neighborhood, a suburban northwest elongation/extension of the city, is located at all points north of Burlington High School, and includes Leddy Park and North Beach and the Burlington Beltline. The district is culturally and politically more conservative than the rest of the city.
  • Old North End: Burlington's oldest, most densely populated, and most diverse neighborhood is north of all properties along Pearl Street, west of U.S. Routes 2 and 7, and is inclusive of areas south and east of the former site of Burlington College (but north of Downtown and west of the University District)
  • South End: A once mostly industrial and now mostly artistic[66] district south of Maple Street and west of U.S. Route 7 (Shelburne Street and South Willard Street), includes Oakledge Park and the headquarters of many of Burlington's nationally known companies like Burton Snowboards and Dealer.com
  • University District: East of Willard Street, north of Main Street, and south of Riverside Avenue – surrounded on three sides by U.S. Route 2, includes UVM and many once single-family homes converted to student and yuppie apartments (although these are everywhere throughout the city limits and metropolitan area)

Health and social services[edit]

Burlington is home to University of Vermont Medical Center, a tertiary referral hospital for Vermont and the North Country of New York, Level I Trauma Center, and teaching hospital.

In 2006, Burlington was rated the ninth-best city to live in. The criteria were health, quality of life, and fitness.[67] In 2007, it was rated 11th out of 100, for auto safety. The criteria were observing speed limits, accident infrequency, and seatbelt use.[68] In 2008 it was ranked second out of 100 for "greenest driving."[69] Criteria included gasoline consumption and air quality.

In 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Burlington ranks high among U.S. metropolitan areas by having the largest proportion of people – 92 percent – who say they are in good or great health. The report went on to rate it best in exercise and lowest in obesity, diabetes, and other measures of ill health. In 2009, Children's Health Magazine rated Burlington the best city in the country to raise a family.[70]

In 2010, the government banned smoking within 25 feet (7.6 m) of the city's parks and recreational areas.[71]

The HowardCenter, headquartered in Burlington, provides social services to state residents, and runs Vermont's first and the area's only methadone maintenance program, the Chittenden Clinic.

One of the four buildings in the Edmunds School complex
University of Vermont – Old Mill building
Main campus, Burlington College

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Burlington School District operates the city's public schools.

Schools:

  • Burlington High School
  • The Sustainability Academy (at Lawrence Barnes Elementary)
  • Edmunds Elementary School, named for George F. Edmunds, a U.S. Senator for 25 years, from 1866 to 1891
  • Edmunds Middle School
  • Hunt Middle School
  • Flynn Elementary
  • Champlain Elementary School
  • C. P. Smith Elementary
  • The Integrated Arts Academy (at H.O. Wheeler Elementary)

Magnet schools:
In Burlington, students have two choices of magnet schools: the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler (IAA) and the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes (SA).[72]

At IAA, students learn through the lens of the four art forms: movement, drama, music and visual arts.[73]

At SA, students learn through the lens of sustainability – by exploring our diverse society, our local economy and the environment through hands-on projects.[74]

Private schools[edit]

Universities and colleges[edit]

The University of Vermont ("UVM"), Burlington College (defunct as of May 2016), and Champlain College are located in this college town. The UVM Medical Center is home to one of the ten most selective medical schools in the US, the UVM College of Medicine.[75] The Community College of Vermont had a site located in Burlington until 2010 when a new building in the adjacent city of Winooski was constructed for the college. Saint Michael's College and a satellite campus of Southern New Hampshire University are in the neighboring town of Colchester. Vermont Technical College also has a satellite campus in nearby Williston.

Religion[edit]

Churches in Burlington include the North Avenue Alliance Church, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, the First United Methodist Church, Christ Church (Presbyterian), the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – the episcopal see for the Diocese of Burlington – and the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, the First Unitarian Universalist Society, the College Street Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), The Burlington Church of Christ, and the non-denominational Church at the Well. The Conservative Ohavi Zedek synagogue is also located in the city, and there is an active Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

The Howard Mortuary Chapel in Lakeview Cemetery was built in 1882 as a gift to the City of Burlington from Hannah Louisa Howard, a local philanthropist. A native of the city, she was the daughter of John Howard, a successful Burlington hotelier. The chapel was designed in the High Victorian Gothic style by Alfred Benjamin Fisher, on cemetery grounds designed by E. C. Ryer in 1871.[76]

The Ira Allen Chapel on the grounds of the University of Vermont campus, was completed in 1926, and was designed in the Georgian Revival style by McKim, Mead & White. The chapel's flashing beacon provides a nighttime landmark for those approaching Burlington from Lake Champlain. The chapel is part of the University Green Historic District.[77]

Both of the cathedrals in Burlington – the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – are modern structures built after their predecessors were destroyed by arson fires in 1971–72.[78] The Episcopal Cathedral was completed in 1973 and was designed by Burlington Associates (now TruexCollins) in the Brutalist style, while the Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in 1974-77 and was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, with the park-like grounds designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley.[78]

Culture[edit]

Dragon boat races to benefit charity have been held in Lake Champlain in August since 2006.[79] In 2009, there were approximately 2,000 participants on 86 teams.[80]

There has been an annual First Night community celebration of the arts on New Year's Eve since 1982. Burlington was the fourth city to embrace this concept.[81]

Burlington's own drag troupe, the House of LeMay,[82] performs several shows a year, hosts the annual "Winter is a Drag Ball,"[83] and raises funds for numerous charities. The House of LeMay is the subject of the documentary, "Slingbacks and Syrup" which premiered at the 2008 Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington.

The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette organization, is headquartered here.

Local music[edit]

The city has, over the years, supported a number of local bands as various "scenes" waxed and waned, and has even launched a handful of national acts. The most famous of these is Phish, which originated at UVM circa 1983.

Other acts with ties to the city include Matisyahu,[84] Strangefolk, The Essex Green, RAQ, James Kochalka, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Pork Tornado, Anais Mitchell, Greg Davis, Koushik, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Dispatch, Prydein, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, Morgan Page, KT Tunstall, and The Vacant Lots.

Local art[edit]

The "South End Art Hop", is an annual event presented by the South End Arts and Business Association.[85] Artists join businesses, artist studios, and galleries, which in turn open their doors to the public throughout the post-industrial section of Burlington, known as the "South End". The first Art Hop in 1993 had a little more than thirty artists and a dozen sites participating. In 2008, over 600 artists showcased their works in over 100 sites throughout the South End of Burlington. The event takes place on the Friday and Saturday following Labor Day in September.

The city has an arts department, Burlington City Arts, which serves many roles including cultural planning, education, showing contemporary art and hosting cultural events at The BCA Center. Burlington City Arts also runs a program in collaboration with UVM Medical Center, Art from the Heart, where patients have access to art supplies and devoted volunteer time.

Landmarks and buildings[edit]

Historic buildings[edit]

Many of Burlington's historic buildings and sites have been recognized by their inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). In addition to 28 buildings, three shipwrecks and the Burlington Breakwater, the city encompasses 17 historic districts.[86]

The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

Sites of interest[edit]

Battery Park, which overlooks the Burlington Waterfront & Lake Champlain

Tallest buildings[edit]

Besides being the least populous U.S. city to be the most populous within its state, Burlington is also home to the shortest "tallest building" in any of the 50 US states, Decker Towers.

Excluding structures constructed with bell towers or spires, such as the Ira Allen Chapel (which reportedly measures 170 ft (51.8 m) in height), the five tallest buildings in Burlington are:[93]

Rank Name Image Height
ft / m
Floors Year
1 Decker Towers Decker towers BTV.jpg 124 / 37.8 11 1970
2 Burlington Square 116 / 35 8
3 Westlake Residential 107.5 / 33 9
4 Key Bank 105 / 32 8
5 Cathedral Square 103.33 / 31 10

Media[edit]

Newspapers and other publications[edit]

Burlington is the media center of northern and central Vermont. It is served by the

Radio[edit]

Major radio stations that are based in Burlington and serve the region:

  • WBTZ (The Buzz) – 99.9 FM (modern rock)
  • WCPV (101.3 ESPN) – 101.3 FM (sports)
  • WCVT (101 The One) – 101.7 FM (classic album tracks)
  • WKOL (KOOL 105) – 105.1 FM (classic hits)
  • WTNN (Eagle Country) – 97.5 FM
  • WOKO  – 98.9 FM (country)
  • WIZN (The Wizard) – 106.7 FM (classic rock)
  • WEZF (Star 92.9) – 92.9 FM (hot adult contemporary)
  • WRUV (University of Vermont) – 90.1 FM (variety)
  • WOXR (Vermont Public Radio) – 90.9 FM (classical)
  • WVPS (Vermont Public Radio) – 107.9 FM (news & information), National Public Radio
  • WVMT – 620 AM (news/talk)
  • WJOY – 1230 AM (adult standards)
  • WNCS and W227AQ (The Point) – 104.7 and 93.3 FM, respectively (Triple-A)

Television[edit]

There are four network-affiliated television stations that serve the greater Burlington area. They include WFFF-TV channel 44 (Fox), its sister station WVNY channel 22 (ABC), WPTZ channel 5 (NBC, with The CW on DT2 and Me-TV on DT3), and WCAX-TV channel 3 (CBS). All of the stations (including WVNY which shares a news department with WFFF-TV) operate news departments. Although licensed to Burlington, WCAX is actually based in neighboring South Burlington, while WPTZ is based in Plattsburgh, New York with a news bureau in nearby Colchester. WFFF and WVNY are also based in Colchester. Comcast is the metro area's major cable television service provider, although residents within the Burlington city limits are also served by municipally-owned Burlington Telecom.

These cable channels are Burlington based: VCAM-Channel 15,[97] RETN-Channel 16,[98] and Town Meeting TV/CCTV channel 17.[99]

Sports[edit]

Team Sport(s) League Stadium
Vermont Lake Monsters Baseball Minor league Class A Centennial Field
Vermont Catamounts Ice Hockey, Basketball, Track, others NCAA Division I Gutterson Fieldhouse

The Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York – Penn League, a Class A short-season (June to September) minor league baseball team, were formerly called the Vermont Expos. The team changed its name in 2007 after its parent Major League Baseball club, the Montreal Expos of the National League, moved from Montreal to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. In 2010, the Lake Monsters ended its 17-year association with the Expos/Nationals and became the Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics of the American League.[100] The Lake Monsters play on the campus of the University of Vermont at Centennial Field.

Burlington has a rich hockey history, and was the location of the first known international ice hockey match,[101] held between the Montreal Crystals and employees of the Van Ness House, a local hotel, during the 1886 Burlington Winter Carnival. The University of Vermont's men's hockey team, the Catamounts, play their home games at the 4,007-seat Gutterson Field House on the UVM campus.[102][103]

A professional basketball franchise, the Vermont Frost Heaves, played half of their season in the city until 2011. The team, which originally was part of the American Basketball Association – not to be confused with the 1970s-era major basketball league of the same name that merged with the National Basketball Association – moved to the Premier Basketball League in 2008 and split their regular-season home games between Burlington and Barre. The Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, played their Burlington games at the Memorial Auditorium, on South Union Street, at the corner of Main. However, the franchise folded in early 2011.

There is also a rugby union team, the Burlington RFC.

The Vermont City Marathon has drawn thousands of competitors annually.[104] A local Golden Gloves boxing tournament has been held annually since 1946.[105]

Burlington was a venue site for the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Burlington is twinned with:[106]

In popular culture[edit]

Burlington was a filming location for the films Me, Myself & Irene (2000) and What Lies Beneath (2000).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official records for Burlington were kept at downtown from December 1883 to 3 June 1943, and at Burlington Int'l since 4 June 1943. For more information, see ThreadEx

References[edit]

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External links[edit]