A centerpiece of Burlington's architectural heritage, Perry Hall has a storied place in the city's history. The residence at 251 South Willard Street was built in 1859, by lawyer and diplomat Edward Phelps, who served in the administrations of Presidents Cleveland and Fillmore. During Phelps' residency, the house hosted many prominent guests, including banker J.P. Morgan. In 1913, the home was sold to John J. Flynn, founder of Chittenden Bank and many other ventures throughout Vermont. Flynn, whose name adorns Burlington's famous theatre as well Flynn Avenue, added the front porch and south wing.
Upon his death in 1940, Flynn bequeathed the house to the city of Burlington to serve as a home for older men. Faced with high operating costs, however, the city sold the home to local automobile mogul Gilbert Brewer, for whom South Burlington's Brewer Parkway is named. Brewer in turn sold the house in 1955, and Champlain bought the home in 2004.
Perry Hall, named in honor of retired Champlain President Roger H. Perry, remained vacant until May of 2009. At that time plans to convert the historic building to a new student "Welcome Center" were unanimously approved by the College's Board of Trustees. This set the stage for a ground-breaking ceremony to begin the long-anticipated restoration of the 251 South Willard St. home. Work on restoring the 150-year-old Italianate-style brick home began almost immediately with a planned completion date of August 2010.
A project of this scope is important to both the College and Burlington, employing many local workers and contractors with Engleberth Construction of Colchester, the construction manager. The project also calls for energy-efficient climate control systems, including geothermal pumps using water from adjacent wells. The ultimate goal is to earn Platinum certification from The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.
"We are proud to be part of the restoration of Perry Hall to create tomorrow's vision of Champlain College. This project fosters education of our new generations in a building that represent the proud renaissance of Burlington," said Michael Seaver, President, Chittenden Bank, a division of People's United Bank. "Perry Hall will provide a great first impression of Champlain College and Burlington to prospective visiting students and their families."
About Champlain College
Champlain College, founded in 1878, offers "Education in Three Dimensions" - a distinctive educational approach to professionally focused majors, developing life skills and leadership based on critical and creative thinking. It has nearly 2,000 campus-based undergraduate students on campus and is ranked in the top tier of Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the North by 2009 America's Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about Champlain College, visit www.champlain.edu.
About Chittenden Bank
Chittenden Bank, which has proudly served individuals and businesses statewide since 1906 is a division of People's United Bank, a federally-chartered savings bank with $20 billion in assets. People's United Bank provides consumer and commercial banking services through a network of more than 300 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York. Through additional subsidiaries, People's United Bank provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services. For more information please call 800-545-2236 or visit www.chittenden.com.
(From right) Kathleen Schirling, Director of Marketing and Community Services, Chittenden Bank, a division of People's United Bank presents a $75,000 check to Champlain College's President David Finney, Senior Vice President of Development Shelley Richardson and Senior Vice President for Finance David Provost to help support the new Perry Hall Student Welcome Center. The project is expected to be completed in August 2010.(Photo by Stephen Mease / Champlain College)