About Burlington, Vermont
Chartered: July 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
City Incorporated: November 22, 1864
Area: 9,906 Acres = 15.48 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 236* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 28′ W 73°13′
Altitude: 201 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 42,417 [ Population Rank: 1* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 2,740.1 [ Density Rank: 4* ]
Full Census Info: City County State
*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Burlington’s relative position among Vermont’s 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.
Burlington was an important port in the 19th century and boasts a wealth of historic resources.
It has long been commonly held that the town was named for the Earl of Burlington, though nobody could identify which of several Earls that might have been. A more immediate possibility is that it was for the Burling family of New York City, politically prominent and wealthy, a combination Benning Wentworth was known to admire. In support of this theory, the records show that nine Burlings are listed as grantees of eleven towns in Vermont, ten of which were recorded the same day.
The mystery of the records is that while the Burlings were the grantees of neighboring Colchester, not one is among the grantees of the original town which supposedly bears the family name. Historians conjecture that an overworked property clerk mixed up the paperwork of the two towns on what was one of the busiest days in the grant office’s history.
Incorporated as a city by act of the Legislature in 1864, the original town was split into what is now the City of Burlington and a new town of South Burlington. A portion of the original acreage had already been drawn off to form Williston.
Battery Street, near the waterfront and site of a ferry landing since the early 1800s, is known for its historic commercial and industrial buildings. More than 200 housing units in the King Street Neighborhood Historic District have been rehabilitated in recent years.
Around City Hall Park, originally set aside in the 1790s for a courthouse, are public and commercial buildings, including the Colonial Revival style City Hall; the old Ethan Allen Firehouse; banks and the Art Deco Flynn Theater (a significant success for the arts community: on a downward slide well into the Seventies, now magnificently restored and the site of performances of all types, including concerts, plays and musical theatre).
In the late Seventies, several blocks of the main business district were converted to a pedestrian mall. Despite the development of malls and shopping parks elsewhere in the county, the Church Street Marketplace remains a thriving shopping and social center with numerous sidewalk cafes and specialty shops.
The Head of Church Street Historic District includes the outstanding Federal style Unitarian Church, the Richardsonian Romanesque Masonic Temple, and a late 19th century department store. Further up the hill, the Pearl Street Historic District presents commercial buildings as well as handsome early to mid 19th-century homes of Burlington’s prosperous mercantile class.
Found throughout the “Hill Section” are many significant Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style residences of the late 19th and early 20th century, built by Burlington’s well-to-do industrialists and businessmen. Many (if not most) of these are now fraternity or sorority houses or educational buildings associated with the University of Vermont and Champlain College. Others have been converted to apartment houses.
At the top of the hill is the University Green Historic District, the home of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College (the nation’s first state AC and one of its oldest medical schools), founded in 1791. The district has 29 buildings surrounding the green, the land having been donated by Ira Allen and protected from development at his request.
Vermont’s largest city, Burlington rests on Lake Champlain, minutes to water, mountains, camping and skiing. There is easy access to the city by auto (US 7; US 2; I-89 at South Burlington Exits 13 and 14, Winooski Exit 15 and Colchester Exit 16); by rail (AMTRAK at Essex Junction); by water via private boat or ferry from Port Kent, New York; and by air through Burlington International Airport (BTV).
Activities & Points of Interest
Goings-on in and near Burlington
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.
ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center
70 live species, over 100 interactive experiences, seasonal changing exhibits and events, all exploring the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. The 2.2 acre Leahy Center environmental campus is also highlighted by the Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room, UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, ECHO’s Eclectic Gift Shop, and green-themed Think! Cafe.
A large and varied substance-free celebration beginning New Year’s Eve afternoon, ending with fireworks at midnight. Enjoy performances and activities at 25 venues throughout the city.
The Bike Path
A 6.5 mile paved recreational trail mostly on a former railbed and mostly close to the lakeshore from one end of the city to the other. It passes through the revitalized Waterfront, the city beaches/campground and residential areas, connecting in the South End to a similar path through South Burlington. A bridge is now in place at the north end to continue across the Winooski River into Colchester. The hope is to eventually have a continuous trail to the Canadian border, crossing Lake Champlain into South Hero via “The Fill ” (former railroad causeway).
Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-658-2700
Hospital: University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington) 802-847-0000
City Clerk: Vacant 149 Church Street Burlington, VT 05401
Churches, Ministries, Charitables
Assemblies of God : Hilltop Light AG Church 802-863-0524
Episcopal : Cathedral Church of St. Paul 802-864-0471
Jewish : University of Vermont Hillel
Jewish Conservative: Ohavi Zedek Synagogue 802-864-0218
Jewish Lubavitch: Chabad of Vermont 802-658-5770
Jewish Orthodox: Ahavath Gerim 802-863-4099
Jewish Trad. Conservative/Egalitarian: Congregation Beth Yishra 802-863-4099
Presbyterian : Christ Church 802-862-1898
Roman Catholic : Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Roman Catholic : Catholic Center at UVM
Roman Catholic : Christ the King & St. Anthony
Roman Catholic : St. Joseph Co-Cathedral
Roman Catholic : St. Mark
Unitarian Universalist : First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington 802-862-5630
United Church of Christ : College Street Congregational Church
United Church of Christ : First Congregational Church
United Methodist : First UMC 802-862-1151
United Methodist : First UMC 802-862-1151
Burlington School District 802-865-5332
Burlington Senior High School 802-864-8411
Burlington Technical Center 802-864-8426
C. P. Smith School 802-864-8479
Champlain College 802-860-2700
Champlain Elementary School 802-864-8477
Edmunds Elementary School 802-864-8473
Edmunds Middle School 802-864-8486
Essential Early Education Center 802-864-8463
H. O. Wheeler School 802-864-8475
J. J. Flynn School 802-864-8478
Lawrence Barnes School 802-864-8480
Lyman C. Hunt Middle School 802-864-8469
OnTop Alternative Program 802-864-8496
University of Vermont 802-656-3131
Vermont Commons School 802-865-8084
This is a basic geographic reference, intended to show relative location of adjacent towns. Directional accuracy is limited to 16 compass points. There isn’t even the slightest suggestion that one can necessarily travel directly from one town to the next (as in “You can’t get there from here”).
Businesses & Services
Fast Friendly Service for Northwestern Vermont
Notes about utilities:
- One electric or phone company indicates that company serves the entire town. More than one of either indicates each serves different areas of town.
- A listed cable company MIGHT mean the entire town is covered, but not necessarily. More than one listed indicates each serves different areas of town.
- Unless your area is one served by Vermont’s only gas utility, your only option is bottled gas (any dealer).
Cable Comcast 800-266-2278
Electric Burlington Electric Department 802-658-0300
Natural Gas Vermont Gas Systems 802-863-4511
Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001