Brattleboro, Vermont (1)

Brattleboro, Vermont, facing east from the corner of Main and Canal Streets around 1917. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.


The scene in 2014:


The 1917 photo provides an interesting contrast between old and new, with horse-drawn carriages making their way up and down Canal Street to the left, and modern automobiles parked in front of the Hoadley Hotel to the right.  All of the buildings are now gone, and today the site is home to the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

The top photo is part of a panoramic view; the other parts can be viewed here:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Hotel Brooks, Brattleboro, Vermont

Main Street in Brattleboro, looking south toward High Street around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The scene in 2014:


These photos were taken facing the opposite direction of the ones in this post, and faces the historic Hotel Brooks on the right-hand side of the photos.  Built in 1871, it was once a popular hotel and summer resort, but has since been extensively renovated.  The outward appearance looks the same, but the interior was drastically changed in the 1970s, and the upper floors were damaged by a fire in 2011.  Currently, the building is undergoing repairs, as can be seen with the boarded-up storefronts.

Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont (3)

Another scene on Main Street in Brattleboro around 1907, looking north toward the corner of Main and High Streets. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The scene in 2014:


Unlike the other two 1907 photos of Brattleboro here and here, this scene actually shows some substantial changes over the years. Barely visible on the far right is the Vermont Savings Bank Block, which was built in 1869 with the ornate facade.  The building is actually still there, but the facade was reconstructed in 1935.  To the left of it is a modern commercial building, and past it is the c.1850 Paramount Theatre building, which was significantly reconstructed in 1937 and converted into a movie theater.  Further down Main Street is the Centre Congregational Church, which was built in 1843 and has seen several alterations over the years.

Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont (2)

Looking up Main Street in Brattleboro from the corner of Canal Street, around 1907. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The scene in 2014:


This view gives a good overview of the architecture on the east side of Main Street, very little of which has changed in the past century.  Many of the buildings were even fairly old when the first photo was taken, including the circa 1850 Van Doorn/Culver Block in the center of the 2014 photo.  Beyond it are several commercial blocks from around the turn of the century, and the oldest buildings are at the top of the hill and date to around 1840-1845, making them probably the oldest commercial buildings in downtown.  With the exception of the building on the right-hand side in the foreground of the 1907 photo, all of the buildings still exist today, forming part of the Downtown Brattleboro Historic District.

Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont (1)

Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont, looking north from Elliot Street around 1907. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


Main Street in 2014:


The trolleys are gone, and there are a few more cars in the 2014 photo, but otherwise this scene hasn’t changed a whole lot.  It appears as though all of the buildings are still there, and for the most part the exteriors remain largely unaltered.  The only obvious exceptions are a couple with reconstructed fourth floors.  The field stone building on the far right (built around 1850) has had its elegant mansard roof replaced with some sort of architectural monstrosity that doesn’t even come close to matching the rest of the building.  Another building further down Main Street was built around the same time, and had its gabled roof replaced by a full fourth story around 1920, making it blend in with the rest of the street.