WINOOSKI : Heart of the Historic Mill District

Located in the heart of Chittenden County, the City of Winooski tells a rich history of industrial growth beginning during the conception of our country’s independence. Green Mountain Boy, Ira Allen, first harnessed the power of the Winooski River, building a dam flanked by a sawmill at each end at what is now Winooski Falls. Textile mills were established in the mid 1800s, creating a center of vitality in America’s industrial era New England. The rich history of such a vibrant mill town is echoed in its architecture of modest, old brick building blocks, simple, yet elegant, standing proudly at river’s edge; a vernacular architecture that tells the story of humble earnings, hard work, progress and economic growth. Although the mills closed in the 1950s, the spirit remains and one can close their eyes and sense the buzz of our countries growth within the brick structures that line the river.

The past decade has brought a revitalization to the mill city of Winooski. New development echoes the historic mill vernacular with neo-traditional and contemporary interpretations. Strolling along the riverwalk bordered by the natural, yet power-harnessing beauty of the Winooski River, and the historic brick mills, brought back to life as residential and commercial havens, one can feel a fresh vitality and, a new beginning for this historic Vermont center. Continuing this riverside rejuvenation, Riverhouse embraces the historic mill vernacular in a contemporary context. The traditional character along the street and the riverside is maintained with large uniform window openings in the brick façades interpreted with a modern infill.

The distinctive character embraced in this urban village renewal, a marriage of re-built and historic environ, tells the story of community development and enhancement; from the years just following the signing of the Declaration of Independence through the Industrial Revolution and beyond; the economic and social growth of a nation as seen through the eyes of a New England mill city. Through a mix of historic references and modern day amenities, Winooski has once again found its center in this revitalization.

 

 

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