Presentation on theme: "Architecture in Randolph, VT By Dillon Bly. The town of Randolph started as the settlement of West Randolph (sometimes called Slab City), established."— Presentation transcript:
The town of Randolph started as the settlement of West Randolph (sometimes called Slab City), established shortly after America declared its Independence in 1776; before Vermont was a state. As it was on the White River, it was an ideal spot to for early settlers. The railroad found its way to Randolph by 1848, and brought it with change and economic growth, as businesses sought to move close to the tracks. Like any town, Randolph has suffered its share of disasters, such as the major fire of 1884 that destroyed much of its commercial block, and the flood on 1927 which ravaged homes, businesses, and bridges alike. In 1891, “West” was dropped from the town’s name, and it has simply been “Randolph” since. The late 1800’s to early 1900’s (roughly 1885-1915) marked a period of great prosperity for the town, and it has grown fairly steadily since, in spite of the aforementioned disasters. Today, Randolph offers some notable attractions and establishments for a town its size, including a small movie theater, its own hospital, and it’s own music hall. A Brief History of Randolph
The Depot The Depot, constructed in 1881, was originally the town’s railroad station for the Central Vermont R. R. It was modeled after the railroad station in Brandon, and built almost as its twin. In 1911, the clock was added to its tower, where it remains to this day. The building used to have sheltering canopies for the patrons waiting for the train, but they were removed in 1943.
Today, it is a restaurant ran and co-owned by Bob Hildebrandt. Although it has undergone some renovation over the years, the building still retains its original brick construction, and has stood the test of time incredibly well. The Depot sports an amalgam of different architectural styles, likely as a result of earlier American architects’ search for an unique American style. The style of the windows points toward an Eastern Stick style, whereas the tower suggests a Romanesque revival or Italianate influence. The artistic brickwork under the roofline also hints at Romanesque revival.
Kimball Public Library The polychromatic exterior of Kimball Public Library was constructed primarily of red pressed brick and Longmeadow brownstone. Prior to its completion in 1903, a small library had been started in 1896 in the upstairs of the DuBois and Gay building, previously on the corner of present day Merchant’s Row.
This neoclassical building sports a sizeable Roman arch under its cornice, and small ionic pilasters on the second story exterior. The interior also sports Ionic pilasters and columns. The columns and much of the library’s interior are constructed of red birch. As pictured on the right, the columns rest upon solid marble. Both the birch and marble are part of the library’s original construction.
The dome atop the library allows light to shine down on the stained glass ceiling in the building’s entry foyer. In 2003, the library celebrated its hundredth year running strong in the community. Though it’s undergone some renovations in its more than a century of time in Randolph, the building has remained in good shape, as a solid piece of architecture.
Chandler Music Hall The all moved to today’s Bethany church, and on the site of the other church, Chandler Music Hall was constructed, with an attached parish house that is today the Chandler Gallery. In 1907, Chandler donated the music hall to Bethany church, who eventually sold it to the town in 1947. At the turn of the 20 th century, there were two churches in Randolph of similar theologies right across the street from one another. The churches shared the same reverend, who convinced the congregations to merge, so that Albert Chandler could construct a music hall.
Though it was in disrepair for some time, Chandler has been functional since the early 1970’s. It is a large, active part of the music and arts scene in Randolph. The style, much like the Depot, seems to draw from different influences. If it were to be called but one style, it would be Richarsonian Romanesque. The concrete blocks were poured to resemble the large stone blocks often used in Romanesque architecture. Also, the significance of the architecture lies more in its sheer size and shape, rather than any particularly detailed feature. The awnings over the doorways hide the Roman arches and transom windows that lie behind.
Day’s Funeral Home As it stands today, Day’s Funeral Home is a good example of the Colonial Revival style. It was once the residence of one Franklin B. Salisbury, constructed in 1868. The massive, 2-story front porch sporting the Doric columns was added around the turn of the 20 th century. In 1939, Rudolph Day bought the house for a funeral home, which (obviously) still exists today, with his name on the sign out front.
Since the previous owner, Salisbury, started and ran a furniture factory in Randolph, there is a lot of hand-carved woodwork inside his old home. On the left, Corinthian pilasters (above) and cabinets (below) made of hand-carved mahogany. In some parts of the present-day funeral home, the mahogany has been painted, as pictured below.
Other rooms also sport their original woodwork, as well. In this particular instance, it’s the original pine paneling. Much to my relief, I have only been inside the funeral home twice in my life, and once was to snap pictures. Although it serves as an important part of the community, it’s also sort of a depressing part. Also, the entire building is no longer a funeral home, as the uppermost story has now been converted into apartments.
Works Cited/Consulted Garner, Randy. Personal interview. 15 Dec 2008. Herwig, Wes. Early Photographs of Randolph, Vermont. Randolph, VT: Greenhills Books, 1986. "History of Chandler." Chandler Music Hall. 15 Dec 2008. Rainville, Brian. Telephone interview. 15 Dec 2008. Town of Randolph. Kimball Public Library. Randolph, VT: 1903.