Preservation Pop Quiz

How would you read this building?

Orleans Village, VT Municipal Building. Click and zoom for greater detail.

What do you think of the different brick? The entrance? The front facade?

7 thoughts on “Preservation Pop Quiz

  1. Suzassippi says:

    Well, I am usually wrong on your pop quizzes, but here’s my “read.” The front facade was added or revised. This is based first, on the observation of the two styles seemingly not being in the same architectural realm. It’s possible there were similar windows at the front facade that were later closed in and that the brick was always different. The date markers on the top of the facade read 1879 and 1929, so I would guess that a renovation of some type occurred in 1929.

    • Kaitlin says:

      My initial thought was that the front facade was added. I believe this building was constructed in 1929 – the third building on that site. I’m still working to get to the bottom of this question!

  2. jane says:

    I thought that until I looked at the brick on the main part. It is Flemish bond which is usually used to tie courses together when brick is used structurally (usually 3 rows make up the wall). Maybe there was a roof with a pitch and a Victorian front with bays?

    Perhaps the main body is 1879, the front wing is the 1929 update. The brick work making those long panels on the sides, the choice of a contemporary brick, the concrete bases and capitals, the paired windows in the 3rd floor space over the ‘porch’ are 1920’s style. The triple windows and front door are more modern, I think.

    Perhaps the large arched windows in the main block are reworkings of old openings.

    I am also thrown by the brick buttresses on the main block – not 1879 in my experience. Iron ties would be what I expected.

    what do you know?

  3. Paula Sagerman says:

    Wow what a crazy building. Great subject for a quiz. At first glance I assumed the front bay was added, first as a two-story porch, which was then filled in, and then had the silly third story added. Then after zooming in I saw the 1929 plaque, so I’m going to guess the whole building was constructed then. (Unless the plaques were moved?) It looked like the 3rd story of the front bay was added later, but the unusual brick pattern matches everything else too well. Same issue with the blank windows; they look like they may have once contained fenestration but the brick matches the surrounding walls too well. Kaitlin, I hope you can tell us the story about this place!

  4. theglimmeringprize says:

    From the way in which the floors are broken up and the style of windows on the side, my guess it this was once either an “opera house/town theatre” or a masonic hall. But I am leaning towards the opera house, because of the set up of the exit doors on the back is very similiar to the Old Town Hall Theatre in Montpelier. That extra “space” behind the three main buildings was probably where the stage was. And you need an easy accessible fire exit from the back stage area.

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