|— City —|
|Nickname(s): The Queen City|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Mayor||Miro Weinberger (D)|
|• City||15.5 sq mi (40.1 km2)|
|• Land||10.6 sq mi (27.4 km2)|
|• Water||4.9 sq mi (12.7 km2)|
|Elevation||200 ft (61 m)|
|• Density||3,682.0/sq mi (1,421.6/km2)|
|• Urban density||1,760.8/sq mi (679.8/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||05401-05402, 05405-05406, 05408|
|GNIS feature ID||1456663|
Burlington is the largest city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the shire town (county seat) of Chittenden County. Burlington lies 45 miles (72 km) south of the U.S.-Canadian (Vermont-Quebec) border and some 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal. Burlington had a population of 42,417 at the 2010 census. The city is the hub of the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan area, consisting of the three northwestern Vermont counties of Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle and encompassing the cities of Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski; the towns of Colchester, Essex, and Williston; and the village of Essex Junction. According to 2010 U.S. Census estimates, the metro area had an estimated population of 211,261, approximately one third of Vermont's total population.
Some believe Burlington was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. Others assert that the name honors the politically prominent and wealthy Burling family of New York. While no family members are listed as grantees of this town, the family held large tracts of land in other nearby towns, some of which were granted on the same day as Burlington.
One of the New Hampshire grants, it was awarded by Governor Benning Wentworth on June 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 delayed permanent settlement until 1783, when Stephen Lawrence arrived with his family. The town was organized in 1785.
The War of 1812 was unpopular in Vermont. Along with the rest of New England, Vermont did not provide militia units or financial support – a serious blow to the cause. Vermont voted for the Federalist party, which opposed the war. Nevertheless, 5,000 troops were stationed there at one point during the War of 1812, outnumbering residents; about 500 of them died of disease. Some soldiers were quartered in the main building at the University of Vermont. A memorial plaque commemorates them.
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.
The town's 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 1843. Wharves allowed steamboats to connect freight and passengers with the Rutland & Burlington Railroad and Vermont Central Railroad. Burlington became a bustling lumbering and manufacturing 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 (2000) and What Lies Beneath (2000).
The ice cream enterprise Ben & Jerry's was founded here in 1978 in a renovated gas station.
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.
In 2010, the city-owned Burlington Telecom cable provider was unable to pay the city of Burlington $17 million it owed. As a result, Moody's downrated the debt for the city two notches to A2, "upper medium" from Aa3, "high quality." Moody's also downrated the credit rating for Burlington International Airport.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The city is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Shelburne Bay. It was built on a strip of land extending about 6 miles (9.7 km) south from the mouth of the Winooski River along the lake shore and rises from the water's edge to a height of 300 feet (91 m).
Burlington has a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfb), with cold winters and warm, humid summers. From January to July, monthly mean temperatures range from 18.0 to 70.6 °F (-7.8 to 21.4 °C). The annual precipitation of 36.1 inches (917 mm) is well-distributed throughout the year, but the summer months are the wettest. The city's location east of Lake Champlain sometimes accounts for localized snow squalls, producing up to 13 inches (33 cm) in 12 hours on rare occasions. Annual snowfall averages 81 inches (206 cm), but this figure can fluctuate greatly from one year to another.
Extremes have ranged from −30 °F (−34 °C) on January 15, 1957 and February 12, 1979 to 101 °F (38 °C) on August 11, 1944. The most snowfall from a single storm is 33.1 inches (84.1 cm), which fell January 2–3, 2010.
|Climate data for Burlington, Vermont (Burlington Int'l), 1981-2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||27.3
|Average low °F (°C)||10.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−30
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.05
|Snowfall inches (cm)||22.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||14.5||11.2||12.9||12.8||14.2||13.3||12.0||12.3||11.3||12.9||14.0||14.4||155.8|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||14.8||10.9||8.9||3.1||.1||0||0||0||0||.4||4.7||11.9||54.8|
|Percent possible sunshine||41||48||51||49||56||59||64||60||54||47||31||33||49|
|Source #1: NOAA  Average Percent Sunshine through 2009 |
|Source #2: The Weather Channel |
Burlington is the central focus of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA), providing bus service to and from the surrounding communities (and the shopping districts of South Burlington and Williston).
On June 15, 2011, the CCTA announced that it had changed its charter, effective July 1, 2011, to allow municipalities outside Chittenden County to join CCTA as member communities, thereby allowing CCTA to become Vermont’s first regional transit authority. As part of its expansion, the CCTA will merge with the Green Mountain Transit Agency (GMTA), which provides bus service in the Barre/Montpelier area and surrounding communities in central Vermont.
Greyhound provides intercity bus service from the Burlington International Airport to other communities in Vermont as well as to Montreal's Gare d'autocars de Montreal, Boston's South Station and Logan International Airport, while Megabus provides non-stop service between Burlington and Boston and service to New York City with intermediate stops in Saratoga Springs, NY or Amherst, MA and Hartford, CT.
In January, 2013 Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proposed extending the Ethan Allen Express from Rutland to Burlington, the state's largest city. The proposal would create a regional rail corridor connecting Albany, Saratoga Springs, Rutland and Burlington and their combined metro populations of around 1.25 million inhabitants.
Burlington is also the headquarters of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company with seasonal service provided between Burlington's King Street ferry terminal and Port Kent, New York. From the late nineteenth century to 1953 the Rutland Railroad provided passenger train service from Burlington to Chatham, New York, with connecting service to New York City via the New York Central Railroad. The last train north to Alburgh in the extreme northwest of the state was in 1948. From 1916 this service was provided at the new Union Station on the Lake Champlain waterfront.
Air carriers at Burlington International Airport provide the area with commercial service to major regional hubs and international airports. While scheduled carriers have not traditionally offered scheduled commercial flights to destinations outside the United States, there is a Customs Port of Entry for unscheduled flights. In December, 2011, Porter Airlines began offering seasonal scheduled service from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Major Road routes
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.
Because Burlington is located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain at one of the lake's widest points, there is ferry access from the west.
- Interstate 89 - Though it does not directly enter the Burlington city limits, I-89 has interchanges in neighboring South Burlington, Winooski, and Colchester that provide access to downtown.
- Interstate 189
- U.S. Route 2 is the main east-west route entering Burlington. After entering the city from the east, westbound U.S. 2 turns north to run concurrently with U.S. 7 towards Winooski and Colchester. The intersection with Interstate 89 is used by 42,000 cars daily.
- U.S. Route 7 is the main north-south route through Burlington. Northbound U.S. 7 joins westbound U.S. 2 in downtown Burlington, and the two routes run concurrently north to Colchester.
As of the census of 2010, there were 42,417 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 88.9% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.6% Asian, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 16,851 households and the average number of persons per household was 2.13.
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. About 30% of the population has French or French-Canadian ancestry, the largest group of the total population. 2.4% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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 income 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 on education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities. There is some manufacturing. The largest employer in the city proper is Fletcher Allen Health Care and The University of Vermont (employing 6823 and 3137 people, respectively). Corporate headquarters located here include: Dealer.com, Burton Snowboards, Bruegger's, Seventh Generation Inc., and Lake Champlain Chocolates. Downtown on Church Street is the Burlington Town Center mall with over 75 specialty shops and 15 national retailers.
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-19th century.
General Electric develops software for the healthcare industry in South Burlington at the former headquarters of IDX Systems, which it purchased in 2006. Vermont Teddy Bear Company whose founder started on a cart on a Burlington street, is now a publicly traded company that ships custom teddy bears worldwide.
Dealer.com, a leading automotive internet marketing company, employed over 450 employees as of March 2011.
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 Hop and public galleries such as The Firehouse Gallery and Pine Street Art Works, provide a forum for the visual arts in the South End. The American Planning Association named the Marketplace one of America's "Great Public Spaces" for 2008.
A Festival of Fools had an estimated 25,000 attendees at the Church Street Marketplace in 2009. The Vermont Brewers Festival had 9,600 attendees in 2009. The Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival had 5,000 attendees in 2009. In 2008, Saturday Night Live satirized the event. Burlington is also home to one of the largest year round farmers market in the state.
In 2008, vacancy rates for office space reached 4.5%, high for the city but low compared to the surrounding suburbs.
The Fletcher Free Library the first of the four public libraries in Vermont funded by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, is the largest and busiest public library in the state. The original Fletcher Free Library was endowed by Mary Martha Fletcher, the daughter of a local businessman, in the 1870s, and was located on Church St. in a building adjacent to City Hall. The Carnegie library building was built on College Street in 1904, and expanded in the 1970s. In addition to its primary services as Burlington's public library, it is also a community center, a cultural resource for newly arrived immigrants to the Burlington area, and the City's only free public access computer center.
The HowardCenter, headquartered here, provides social services to state residents. The Howard Center runs Vermont's first and the area's only methadone maintenance program, the Chittenden Clinic.
Burlington has the 6th lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas (2011) at just 4.8%. Real wages were $39,980 in 2006 constant dollars and remained there to 2010; the state was $33,385; the nation, $36,871.
Burlington has a city council-mayor form of government.Democrats and the Progressive Party make up the majority of the council. Miro Weinberger, the current mayor, is a Democrat who was elected in 2012. The City Council has fourteen seats, which are currently occupied by seven Democrats, four Progressives (all in Ward 2 & 3), two Independents (one in each Ward 1 & 6) and one Republican (Ward 7).Peter Clavelle, Burlington's longest serving mayor, held that office from 1989 to 1993, and again from 1995 to 2006.
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 in 2008.
The general fund for 2011, starting July 1, 2010, was $47.976 million.
As a 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. In 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 cable television. In 2008, cable management tried to drop Al-Jazeera English 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 MW Sheffield wind-generated electricity when it becomes available.
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 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 – 92 percent – 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. In 2009, Children's Health Magazine rated Burlington the best city in the country to raise a family. In 2010, the government banned smoking within 25 feet (7.6 m) of the city's parks and recreational areas.
Burlington School District operates public schools.
- Burlington High School
- Barnes Elementary
- Edmunds Elementary School, named for George F. Edmunds, a Vermont Senator for 25 years, from 1866-1891.
- Edmunds Middle School
- Hunt Middle School
- Flynn Elementary
- Champlain Elementary School
- C. P. Smith Elementary
- Wheeler Elementary
- Rice Memorial High School
- Mater Christi School
- Christ the King School
- Lake Champlain Waldorf School
- The Renaissance School (at Shelburne Farms)
- Vermont Commons School
- Rock Point School
The episcopal see for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is in Burlington. Christ Church Presbyterian, First United Methodist Church, North Avenue Alliance Church, Church at the Well (non-denominational), and First Unitarian Universalist Society are also in Burlington. The Conservative Ohavi Zedek synagogue is located here. There is also an active Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
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 in Vermont. 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.
The Burlington waterfront along the shore of Lake Champlain has bench swings and paths for walking and biking. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, housed in Vermont's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Green Building, is located at the waterfront and harbors over seventy species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles.
Burlington's own drag troupe, the House of LeMay, performs several shows a year, hosts the annual "Winter is a Drag Ball," and raises funds for numerous charities. The House of LeMay is the subject of the documentary, "Slingbacks and Syrup" which premiered at the 2008 Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington.
The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette organization, is headquartered here.
The five tallest buildings in Burlington rank as follows:
ft / m
|1||Decker Towers||124 / 37.8||11||1970|
|2||Burlington Square||116 / 35||8|
|3||Westlake Residential||107.5 / 33||9|
|4||Key Bank||105 / 32||8|
|5||Cathedral Square||103.33 / 31||10|
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, The Essex Green, RAQ, James Kochalka, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Pork Tornado, Anais Mitchell, Greg Davis, Koushik, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Dispatch, Prydein, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, Morgan Page and KT Tunstall.
The South End Art Hop, also known as the Art Hop, and Burlington Art Hop, is an annual event presented by the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) of Burlington, Vermont. Artists join businesses, artist studios, and galleries, which in turn open their doors to the public throughout the post-industrial section of Burlington, known as the “South End”.
The first Art Hop in 1993 had a little less than thirty artists and a dozen sites participating. In 2008, over 600 artists showcased their works in over 100 sites throughout the South End of Burlington. The event takes place on the Friday and Saturday following Labor Day in September.
Newspapers and other publications
Burlington is the media center of northern and central Vermont. It is served by the
- Burlington Free Press a daily newspaper which is delivered throughout Vermont
- Seven Days, a free weekly newspaper, delivered in bulk to pickup points throughout the Burlington metropolitan area and central Vermont, emphasizing arts and culture
- Vermont Business Magazine
Major radio stations that are based in Burlington and serve the region:
- WBTZ (The Buzz) - 99.9 FM (modern rock)
- WOKO – 98.9 FM (country)
- WIZN (The Wizard) – 106.7 FM (classic rock)
- WEZF (Star 92.9) – 92.9 FM (hot adult contemporary)
- WRUV (University of Vermont) – 90.1 FM (variety)
- WOXR (Vermont Public Radio) - 90.9 FM (classical)
- WVPS (Vermont Public Radio) - 107.9 FM (news & information)
- WVMT - 620 AM (news/talk)
- WJOY - 1230 AM (adult standards)
- WNCS and W227AQ (The Point) - 104.7 and 93.3 FM, respectively (Triple-A)
There are four network-affiliated television stations in the city. They include WFFF channel 44 (Fox), WFFF's digital subchannel 44-2 (The CW), its sister station, WVNY channel 22 (ABC), WPTZ channel 5 (NBC), and WCAX channel 3 (CBS). 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 Colchester.
|Vermont Lake Monsters||Baseball||Minor league baseball (New York-Penn League) Class A (Short Season)||Centennial Field|
|Vermont Catamounts||College Ice Hockey, Basketball, Track & Field, Swimming & Diving, Field Hockey||Hockey East, America East||UVM Campus|
The Vermont Lake Monsters, a Class A short-season (June to September) minor league baseball team, were formerly the Vermont Expos baseball club of the New York – Penn League. The team changed its name in 2007 after its parent Major League Baseball club, the Montreal Expos of the National League, moved from Montreal to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. In 2010, the Lake Monsters ended its 17-year association with the Expos/Nationals and became the Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics of the American League. The Lake Monsters play on the campus of the University of Vermont at Centennial Field.
Burlington has a rich hockey history, and was the location of the first known international ice hockey match, held between the Montreal Crystals and employees of the Van Ness House, a local hotel, during the 1886 Burlington Winter Carnival. The University of Vermont's men's hockey team, the Catamounts, play their home games at the 4,007-seat Gutterson Field House on the UVM campus.
A professional basketball franchise, the Vermont Frost Heaves, played half of their season in the city. The team, which originally was part of the American Basketball Association (not to be confused with the 1970s-era major basketball league of the same name that merged with the National Basketball Association), moved to the Premier Basketball League in 2008 and split their regular-season home games between Burlington and Barre. The Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, played their Burlington games at the Memorial Auditorium, on South Union Street, at the corner of Main. However, the franchise folded in early 2011.
There is also a rugby union team, the Burlington RFC.
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 Burlington.
The city has its own electric utility.
Burlington is twinned with:
Sites of interest
- Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
- Chittenden County Historical Society & Museum
- Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center
- Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont
- Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
- The 1885 building of Ohavi Zedek one of the oldest synagogue buildings still standing in the United States.
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- ECHO=Ecology, Culture, History and Opportunity
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- Burlington Telecom. "About Burlington Telecom". Burlington Telecom. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- "::Bethlehem Municipality::". www.bethlehem-city.org. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- City of Burlington: Moss Point Relief Timeline. In the fall of 2005, the city decided to help out Moss Point which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and held a concert called Hurricane Benefete to raise money.
- 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
- Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues, Mark W. Gordon, American Jewish History 84.1 (1996) 11-27
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Burlington (Vermont).|
- City of Burlington, Vermont
- Fletcher Free Library
- City of Burlington Sister Cities
- Preservation Burlington
- Article on Burlington Community Land Trust in Dollars & Sense magazine
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