It’s a good time to address underused churches in Vermont. The Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference features a work day at Christ Church on Thursday May 1, 2014. Too many of our churches sit empty with small, shrinking congregations, extremely limited (or no) funding, and an uncertain fate. The case of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Highgate, VT is one of the many that is not abandoned, but is underused. It is used seasonally for weddings. Members of the church currently attend services in nearby Swanton, VT. Currently this church appears to be in good condition.
The Preservation Trust of Vermont works with Partners for Sacred Spaces and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation to host retreats that will aid organizations in developing uses for their churches. (This year’s is May 15-16 at the Grand Isle Lake House in Grand Isle, VT.)
Constructed in 1834.
Located in Highgate Falls, VT.
The rear of the church.
You can see clear through the window across the church. Is anything more lovely than a historic window?
The sign on the front of the church.
This odd photo – pardon the blurry foreground, blame the iphone – shows the interior of the church. That’s as much as I could see inside.
What a beauty. This church is located down the road from Highgate Manor and the Highgate Falls Lenticular truss. Read more about Highgate, a small town in Franklin County, northwestern Vermont.
The Barton Academy and Graded School is still in operation as an elementary school. This 1907 building is seen here on a crisp, sunny winter afternoon in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Officers’ Row at the Fort Ethan Allen Historic District in Colchester, VT.
Schoolhouses are easy to recognize, especially one room schoolhouses that appear to have a bank of windows. This brick building in Putney, VT struck me as just that.
Sitting along the edge of the road.
A stone wall runs along the property, up to the woodshed.
The front door. And, look at the brick and granite.
The telltale bank of windows behind the plywood, and rear windows for additional light. The windows appear to be intact, based on what little could be seen behind the plywood.
Rear and side of the schoolhouse, more windows and a connected woodshed.
The woodshed, much less elaborate than the brick structure.
Two windows on this side, and a good view of the slate roof.
View across the road from the schoolhouse.
You can clearly see the potential in this building, even on a rainy summer afternoon. If you have information, please share.
Pop Quiz: brick bonds. Found in Middlebury, VT.
Consider this pop quiz week, kids. If you have recently had midterms, I hope they went well. Try this one without worry of affecting your GPA. PiP is a learning environment.
On that note, describe this brick wall: bond, design, and anything else about bricks. Have fun.
Architectural historians, here is a question for you. How would you define the recessed brick sections on this building?
The subject of this preservation pop quiz is historic architecture & reading buildings. So, to begin, how would you describe this building? Need a refresher on building description? Read Preservation Basics No. 3 & No. 4.
Please describe this building. If you’re new to this, try it piece by piece: how many stories, how many bays, materials, fenestration, chimneys … and go from there.
The side of the building.
A first story window.
Now these aren’t ideal images for an entire building description, so just see what you can do with the images provided. Any ideas on dates of construction? Style? I’ll leave it up to you. Have fun.
The Wells River Graded School, constructed 1874, in Newbury, VT.
Read more about the Wells River School (the Old Village School) here and see the National Register nomination here.
Pop Quiz: Describe this brickwork on the municipal building in White River Junction, VT.
Many of you may be familiar with brick bonds, but what would you brick detailing? In this photograph, the bricks are turned and set in patterns. How would describe the brickwork in this snapshot?
A striking house in the center of Brownsville, VT. September 2011. Click and zoom for greater detail.
By my own observations, brick buildings are much more common in southern Vermont than in northern Vermont. However, this is unique. The frame wing is attached to the brick structure.