Burlington is the largest
city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the
shire town (county seat) of Chittenden
With a population of 38,889 at the 2000 census
, the city is the core
of one of the nation's smaller metropolitan areas, and is also the
smallest U.S. city to be the largest city in its state.
urbanized area consists of the cities of Burlington, South
Burlington, and Winooski; the towns
of Colchester, Essex, and
Williston; and the village of Essex
2000, the metropolitan
area contained the three northwestern Vermont counties of
Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle, with an estimated 2006 population of 206,007,
approximately one third of Vermont's total population.
Church Street in 1907
One of the New Hampshire
, it was awarded by Governor Benning Wentworth
on July 7, 1763 to
Samuel Willis and 63 others. In the summer of 1775, land clearing
began and two or three log huts were erected, but the Revolution
settlement until 1783, when Stephen Lawrence arrived with his
family. The town was organized in 1785.
The Church Street Marketplace in 2008,
from almost the same position
The War of 1812
was unpopular in
Vermont. Along with the rest of New England, Vermont did not provide militia units or financial
support â€“ a serious blow to the cause.
for the Federalist party
opposed the war. Nevertheless, 5,000 troops were stationed here at
one point during the War of 1812, outnumbering residents; ca
500 of them died of disease. Some soldiers were
quartered in the main building at the University of Vermont. A
memorial plaque commemorates them.
Burlington from the lake in 1858
The Van Ness House, built 1870, once
the largest hotel in Burlington
In a skirmish on August 2, 1813, the British
shelled Burlington. This has either
been cited 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, depending on who related the
story. The cannonade lasted for about ten 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.
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
to connect freight
and passengers with the Rutland & Burlington
. Burlington became a bustling lumbering
center, and 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
. The city
was a filming location for Me, Myself & Irene
and What Lies Beneath
In 1870, the waterfront was extended by construction of the Pine
Street Barge Canal. This became polluted over the years and is a
focus for cleanup in 2009.
Current U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
was the Socialist
mayor of Burlington from 1981
In 2007, the city was named one of the top four "places to watch"
in the United States by the AARP. Ratings were based on what was
perceived as ideal for older residents. Criteria included what
makes a community livable: new urbanism, smart growth, mixed-use
development, and easy-living standards.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 38,889
people, 15,885 households, and 7,052 families residing in the city.
The population density
3,682.0 people per square mile (1,421.9/kmÂ²). There were 16,395
housing units at an average density of 1,552.3 per square mile
(599.4/kmÂ²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.27% White
, 1.78% Black
or African American
, 0.47% Native American
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 0.54% from
, and 2.27% from two
or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.40%
of the population.
There were 15,885 households out of which 21.3% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 31.4% were married couples
living together, 10.0% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 55.6% were non-families.
35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age
of 18, 25.4% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to
64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
29 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.
At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the city's
population was 94.4% White (91.1% non-Hispanic White alone), 3.5%
Black or African American, 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native,
2.0% Asian, 1.0% from some other race and 1.7% from two or more
races. 2.4% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any
is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Shelburne Bay.
Lake Champlain from the Burlington
It was built on a
strip of land extending about 6 mi
the mouth of the Winooski River
the lake shore and rises from the water's edge to a height of
Some believe Burlington was named after Richard Boyle
3rd Earl of Burlington
assert that the name honors the politically prominent and wealthy
Burling family of New York, which, while no family members are
listed as grantees of this town, held large tracts of land in other
nearby towns, some of which were granted on the same day as
Lake Champlain as a body of water is often responsible for
, producing up to
13 inches in 12 hours on rare occasions.
The coldest days on record were on January 15, 1957 and February
One measure of economic activity is retail sales. Burlington was
fifth in the state in 2007 with $242.2 million.
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
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.
There were 4,989 single-family owner-occupied homes. Their median
value was $131,200.
Burlington's economy is based mostly in education and health
services; trade, transportation and utilities; though the city
retains some manufacturing work. The city's largest employer is Fletcher
Allen Health Care and The University of Vermont employing 4086 and 3137 people
Corporate headquarters located here include:Burton Snowboards
, Seventh Generation Inc.
Lake Champlain Chocolates
on Church Street is the Burlington Town Center mall with over 75
specialty shops and 15 national retailers such as Macy's, Hollister Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters,
, Gap , and Old Navy. Forbes
magazine selected the city as one of the "prettiest" cities in
2009, featuring a picture of the Church Street Marketplace.
The G.S. Blodgett Company, one of the oldest and largest commercial
oven companies in the country, manufactures restaurant equipment.
Its history dates back to the mid 1800s.
IDX Systems, now a division of General Electric, develops software for the
hospital industry and is headquartered in South
Burlington. Vermont Teddy Bear Company whose founder started on a cart on a Burlington
street, is now a publicly traded company that ships custom teddy
Burlington is also the birthplace of the ice cream enterprise
Ben & Jerry's
, founded in 1978
in a renovated gas station. It is now headquartered in South
Technical Products division employs 450 workers locally. A solely
owned subsidiary, the division is based here.
Church Street Marketplace
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
and public galleries such as The Firehouse Gallery
and Pine Street Art Works
, provide a forum
for the visual arts. The American Planning Association
named the Marketplace one of America's "Great Public Spaces" for
In 2008, vacancy rates for office space reached 4.5%, high for the
city but low compared to the surrounding suburbs.
, headquartered here,
provides social services to state residents.
Burlington has a city
council-mayor form of government
and the Progressive Party
make up the
majority of the council. Bob Kiss
current mayor, is a Progressive who was elected in 2006. The City
Council has fourteen seats, which are currently occupied by seven
, two Republicans
, and two
. Peter Clavelle
, Burlington's longest serving
mayor, held that office from 1989 to 1993, and again from 1995 to
The large transient student population votes in local, as well as
state and national elections, resulting in a considerable impact on
local elections. The city signed up 2,527 new voters in the six
weeks from September 1, 2008. This is the highest number for that
time frame in nine years or longer.
The city was ranked "average" nationally in political involvement
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.
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.
The city maintains three parks on Lake Champlain. One is free,
while the other two have parking fees.
The city owns the local television cable. In 2008, cable management
tried to drop Al-Jazeera
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.
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 MG
Sheffield wind-generated electricity when it becomes
In 2009, Moody's
confirmed the city's bond
rating at AA3, "high" quality, the second best rank.
Burlington is the home of Fletcher Allen Health Care
for Vermont and northern New York State, 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. In 2007, it was
rated 11th out of 100, for auto safety. The criteria were observing
speed limits, accident infrequency, and seatbelt use. In 2008 it
was ranked second out of 100 for "greenest driving."Criteria
included gasoline consumption, and air quality. In 2009, Children's
Health Magazine rated the city, out of 100, as the best in the
country to raise a family. Criteria included crime and safety,
education and health.
In 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported that Burlington is tops among U.S. metropolitan areas by
having the largest proportion of people â€“ 92 percent â€“
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.
The budget for 2009-10 is $49.9 million. The increase in FY 2009
was a voter approved 9.9% above the prior year. The percentage
increase was above the state average. This amount was exceeded by
In 2008, about 26% of city 3,600 students were minorities. This
contrasts with the state where 96% of the population was
- Burlington High
- Barnes Elementary
- Edmunds Middle School
- Hunt Middle School
- Flynn Elementary
- Champlain Elementary School
- C. P. Smith Elementary
- Wheeler Elementary
University of Vermont â€“ Old Mill
college town are located The
University of Vermont (UVM), Burlington
College, and Champlain College, as well as a Community College of Vermont
The episcopal see
for the Roman Catholic Diocese of
is in Burlington. There are also synagogues; (Orthodox- Chabad
Culture and landmarks
Burlington has the largest public library in Vermont, the Carnegie
Building of the Fletcher Free Library. In 2002, it had a budget of
over $1 million, circulated more books, had more visitors, and had
more computers, than any other library. Unlike most libraries in
Vermont, it is publicly owned. The building
was originally endowed by Andrew Carnegie
. It is on the
National Register of Historic Places
Burlington waterfront along the shore of Lake Champlain has bench swings and paths for walking and
It provides a place to view the Adirondacks
. ECHO Lake Aquarium and
, housed in Vermont's first Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design
Certified Green Building, is
located at the waterfront and harbors over seventy species of fish,
amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles.
races to benefit charity
have been held in Lake Champlain in August since 2006. In 2009,
there were approximately 2,000 participants on 86 teams.
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.
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 The
University of Vermont circa 1983.
Other acts with ties to the city include Strangefolk
, James Kochalka
, The Jazz Mandolin Project
, Pork Tornado
, Greg Davis
, Grace Potter and the
Newspapers and other publications
Burlington is the media center of northern and central Vermont. It
is served by the
Major radio stations that are based in Burlington and serve the
- WOKO â€“ 98.9
- WIZN (The Wizard) â€“ 106.7 FM (Classic
- WEZF (Star
92.9) â€“ 92.9 FM (Adult Contemporary)
- WRUV â€“ 90.1
FM (University of Vermont, Variety)
- WNCS (The Point) - 104.7 FM
- WVMT - 620
- WJOY - 1230
AM (Adult Standards)
There are four network-affiliated television stations in the city.
include WFFF channel 44
(Fox), WFFF's digital subchannel 44-2 (The CW), its sister
station, WVNY channel 22
(ABC), WPTZ (NBC), and WCAX channel 3
WCAX, WFFF, and WPTZ operate news
departments. WCAX is the only Burlington-based news
department, while WPTZ is based in Plattsburgh,
New York with a bureau in nearby Colchester.
WFFF and WVNY are also based in
city's major cable television service provider. Residents within
the city limits are also served by municipally-owned Burlington Telecom
These cable channels are Burlington based: VCAM
-Channel 15, RETN-Channel
16, and Channel 17.
The Vermont Lake Monsters
Class A short-season (June to September) minor league baseball
team, were formerly the Vermont Expos
baseball club of the New York â€“ Penn
(The team changed its name in 2007 after its parent
Major League Baseball club, the Montreal
of the National League
moved from Montreal to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals
). The Lake Monsters
play on the campus of the University of Vermont at Centennial Field.
The professional basketball franchise, the Vermont Frost Heaves
, plays half of
their season in the city. The team, which originally was part of the
Basketball Association (Not to be confused with the 1970s-era
major baskeball league of the same name that merged with the
National Basketball Association), moved to the Premier Basketball
League in 2008 and splits their regular-season home games between
Burlington and Barre.
The Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated
writer Alexander Wolff
, play their Burlington games
at the Memorial Auditorium, on South Union Street, at the corner of
The University of Vermont's
men's hockey team, the Catamounts
the greatest fan interest. The Catamounts' home games at the
4,000-seat Gutterson Field
on the UVM campus often draw sellout crowds. .
There is also a rugby union
Daniel W. Fish, a former member of the Air Force's Wings of Blue,
was the first person to obtain a permit and skydive in the city of
Marathon has drawn thousands of competitors
A local Golden Gloves boxing
tournament has been held annually since
The city has its own electric utility
The city has municipal fiber
, which provides telephone
, and television
Burlington is the central focus of the
County Transportation Authority, providing bus service to and
from the surrounding communities (and the shopping districts of
Burlington and Williston). Burlington is also the headquarters of the
Transportation Company with seasonal service provided between
Burlington's King Street ferry terminal and Port Kent,
carriers at Burlington International
Airport provide the area with commercial service to major
regional hubs and international airports.
do not offer scheduled commercial flights to destinations outside
the United States, there is a Customs Port of Entry for unscheduled
Greyhound provides intercity bus service
from a depot south of downtown to other communities in Vermont as
well as to Boston's South
Station and Logan International Airport, while Amtrak rail service
stops in the nearby village of Essex Junction.
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.
See also: List of twin towns
and sister cities in Vermont
Burlington is twinned
Sites of interest
Aerial view of Burlington.
- Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
- Chittenden County Historical Society & Museum
- Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center
- Fleming Museum, University of Vermont
- Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
- The 1885
building of Ohavi Zedek one of the oldest synagogue
building still standing in the United States.
- Warren Austin, senator from
Vermont and ambassador to the United Nations
- Ralph Abraham, mathematician
- Marc Awodey, artist and writer
- Ben Bagley, musical theater producer
- Orson Bean, film and stage actor
- Alison Bechdel, cartoonist best
known for the comic strip Dykes
to Watch Out For
- Morgan Benoit, actor and martial
- Harry Blanchard, Formula One
driver who raced for the Porsche team
- Murray Bookchin, anarchist
philosopher and environmentalist
- Ted Bundy, serial killer
- Peter Clavelle, former mayor of
- Grace Coolidge, wife of Calvin Coolidge and First Lady
- Howard Dean, chairman of the
Democratic Party, former presidential candidate in 2004, and former
governor of Vermont
- Judith Steinberg Dean,
physician and First Lady of Vermont
- John Dewey, philosopher, psychologist
and educational reformer
- John Chipman Farrar, writer
- Kevin McKenzie,
artistic director American Ballet Theatre
- Paul Hackett,
- Henry Hitchcock, first attorney
general of Alabama
- Philip H. Hoff, former governor of Vermont
- Oliver O. Howard, general in the Civil War
- Eugene HÃ¼tz, actor and lead
singer of Gogol Bordello
- Horatio Nelson Jackson,
first person to drive an automobile across the United States
- James Kochalka, cartoonist,
- Madeleine M. Kunin, diplomat and governor of
- Patrick Leahy, senator and current
chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
- Members of the rock band Phish:
- Henry T. Mayo, four-star admiral. Born in the
Farnham Perkins (1877-1956) was an American educator, zoologist and eugenicist.
- Ross Powers, Olympic gold
- William Hepburn Russell,
founder of the Pony Express
- Bernie Sanders, senator from
- Truman Seymour, Union Army general
- Birdie Tebbetts, baseball
- Len Whitehouse, baseball player
and assistant coach of Burlington High School's varsity baseball