Running into Fall

Evening running in the fall means I take to the streets and enjoy the neighborhoods instead of the bike path.

Last night was the first evening run for which I wore my reflective running vest (affectionately called the highlighter vest). Gone are my evening runs along Burlington’s bike path, overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. That route will have to be reserved for weekends. Gone are the simplistic evenings that require nothing more than shorts, a top, sneakers, and the Garmin for a run. Instead, I take to the streets of Burlington with my highlighter vest and another layer or two.

Over the past few summer months, I had forgotten how charming fall can be. The city streets bustle with college students back at school and tourists visiting for fall foliage season. The transitional weather means style will do, as long as you’ve brought along a few layers. Church Street remains busy, but not too crowded for a runner trying to squeeze in between the shoppers and restaurant-goers.

And the streets. I had forgotten how much I love running through the neighborhoods. The bike path might be my favorite place to run, but the dense streets always have a story. The sidewalks are less crowded and the setting is quieter. Now is the time to re-learn the hills, the good and troublesome sidewalks. With the evening setting in earlier, all of the houses glow with a warm, cozy aura. (It is also easiest to note which houses needed lighting overhauls. Lighting makes all the difference.)

Running in the dark is when I reacquaint myself with my favorite routes, favorite houses, and the idiosyncrasies of each street. It’s how I get to know and love Burlington so well. The crisp air is always refreshing and takes me back to cross-country memories, which I hold close to my heart.

Fortunately, fall provides a buffer between humid summer running and bitter cold winter running. While it feels like an end, it also feels like another beginning. New projects, new focus, new goals, new adventures. Bring it on, fall. You are the best running season, even when all of my weekday runs are in the dark.

What do you love about fall? Are you a runner?


Happy Sunday all. Vermont finally gave up on the nice weekend weather, but we had a good stretch of lovely fall days. I haven’t carved my pumpkins yet – any preservationists have good ideas? Snap a photo of your pumpkin and send it in! I’ll share mine this week.


Not in a patch, but at least they’re in front of a barn.

Abandoned Vermont: Simonsville Meeting House

Churches and meeting houses and similar institutional buildings are so often neglected and used only sporadically as populations and congregations age, people move elsewhere and the community shifts. Sometimes the building no longer serves a purpose to the community or people favor a new building over their historic buildings. So it sits, awaiting use and suffers from the elements. The Simonsville Meeting House in Windsor County, VT is an example of a building that fell out of use.

Simonsville Meeting House in Windsor County, VT, constructed 1848.

Leaning steeple and roof repair.

Chipped and peeling paint on the clapboards.

Looking up from the back of the meeting house.

On the side of the building are large shutters over the top sashes.

View through the side windows.

Front door knob.

Closer view of the steeple.

Record shot.

The building seems solid and square still, assuming the roof repairs are maintained and the steeple is repaired. Anyone have creative ideas for an adaptive reuse project?

Looks and Feels Like Fall

Warren Village, VT.

The faintest feelings of fall surprised me in early September: crisper mountain air, rustling of the leaves, cooler temperatures. Before long, the pumpkins, hay bales and apple festivals were everywhere. Now that October is here, and we’ve had a string of chilly days, fall is here to stay (until this weekend’s respite).

Brandon Village, VT.

Need some fall activities? Check out your local town website for harvest  festivals, pumpkin picking, apple picking and the last of this season’s outdoor concerts. It seems as though everyone in Vermont is soaking up the last bit of outdoor weather possible.

Need some preservation fall events? Lucky for you – fall always seems to be the prime calendar spot for conferences and workshops. The National Trust for Historic Preservation conference is at the end of October in Buffalo, NY. Check with your State Historic Preservation Office to find out about your state’s HP conference. While national conferences are fun and bigger, the state conferences may be more beneficial to you in terms of networking and relevance. Preservation Directory and PreserveNet do a good job about keeping up to date with events and conferences. Energy efficiency workshops are everywhere. Preservation Directory’s list is long and diverse right now – check it out! It is also the season for fall walking tours, ghost walks and open houses. What do you have planned?

As for me – it’s a good season for running on back roads, hopefully painting some of the rooms in my house and enjoying the foliage.

Do you have a local event or open house that you’d like to mention here? Send a picture and a brief summary – show your community pride! Show off what your organization has accomplished. Or do you have a good shot of what fall looks and feels like in your town? Send it my way. I’d love to include mini features throughout the season.

Preservation Photos #56

A beautiful October view over the pond to the meeting house at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. What a great place for class field trips, even as a graduate student.

Happy Halloween

Addison Town Hall and Addison Community Baptist Church, October 27, 2010.

I don’t have a pumpkin to share or a haunted house, so you’ll have to settle for an October image of the Addison Town Hall. What a beautiful time of day!

First Day of Autumn

Ah, Autumn (or Fall, what have you)… it’s a perfect time for enjoying the landscape and appreciating your community. Cooler temperatures and falling leaves bring out a happiness with pumpkins, corn maizes, festivals, apples, hay bales, bright colors, cozy days, hot drinks, and people enjoying the comfort of their homes. Celebrate the comfort of your house today and the spirit of your neighborhood. During the weekend – find an apple festival or go pumpkin picking!