Burlington is the largest city in the State of Vermont and the shire town (county seat) of Chittenden County. It lies 45 miles (72 km) south of the U.S.-Canadian(Vermont-Quebec) border and 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal.
Burlington had a population of 42,417 at the 2010 census. The city is the hub of theBurlington-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, andWilliston; and the village of Essex Junction. According to the 2012 U.S. Census estimates, the metro area had an estimated population of 213,701, approximately one third of Vermont's total population.
|City of Burlington|
The Church Street Marketplace pedestrian mall is the centerpiece of downtown Burlington (2013)
|Nickname(s): The Queen City, BTV, Burly|
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.
Two theories have been put forward for the origin of Burlington's name. The first is that it was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, while the second is that the name honors the politically prominent and wealthy Burling family of New York. While no Burling family members are listed as grantees of the town, the family held large tracts of land in nearby towns, some of which were granted on the same day as Burlington
The Fletcher Free Library at 235 College Street at the corner of South Winooski Avenue was established in 1873, endowed by Mary Martha Fletcher, the daughter of a local businessman, but outgrew its initial building on Church Street by 1901. A new building was constructed in 1901-04 with funds provided by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, making it the first of the four Carnegie libraries in the state. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Walter R. B. Willcox of Burlington, who won a competition to receive the commission.
The building had major settling problems in 1973 where it had been built over a former railroad ravine, which had been improperly filled in, and the library's collection was moved elsewhere. The possible razing of the building was stopped by a citizens' committee, which successfully had it added to the National Register of Historic Places, and a grant allowed the stabilization and repair of the building. A new modern addition was completed in 1981.
The largest public library in Vermont, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fletcher Free Library had a budget of over $1 million in 2002. It circulated more books, had more visitors, and had more computers, than any other library in Vermont. 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.
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 ranks high 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.
The HowardCenter, headquartered in Burlington, provides social services to state residents, and runs Vermont's first and the area's only methadone maintenance program, the Chittenden Clinic.
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, KT Tunstall, and The Vacant Lots.
The "South End Art Hop", is an annual event presented by the South End Arts and Business Association. 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 more 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.
The city has an arts department, Burlington City Arts, which serves many roles including cultural planning, education, showing contemporary art and hosting cultural events at The BCA Center. Burlington City Arts also runs a program in collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center, Art from the Heart, where patients have access to art supplies and devoted volunteer time.
Many of Burlington's historic buildings and sites have been recognized by their inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). In addition to 28 buildings, three shipwrecks and the Burlington Breakwater, the city encompasses 17 historic districts.
The Ethan Allen Homestead (1784), listed in the NRHP
The former Howard Opera House (1878), now used for retail and commercial purposes, is part of the Church Street Historic District
The Old Ohavi Zedek Synagogue(1885) is the oldest Jewish congregation in Vermont, listed on the NRHP
The Daniel Webster Robinson House (1885–86), listed on the NRHP
The former U.S. Post Office and Custom House (1906), now the Chittenden County Courthouse, listed on the NRHP