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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier, Vermont, (population 7,495), was chartered in 1781 as a grant to settlers from Massachusetts and settled during the time Vermont was an independent republic. It has been the state capital since 1808, and the current gold-domed Greek Revival Capitol building dates back to 1859. Located along the Winooski River in central Vermont, Montpelier is the nation’s smallest state capital. It has remained a center for government, commerce, industry and services, and a regional center for arts and entertainment.

Montpelier is also known for its institutions of higher learning, its national insurance company headquarters, and its historic and architectural riches. Both the State Departments of Agriculture and Personnel are housed in historic structures originally built by insurance companies in the late 1800s.

Montpelier’s City Hall was completed in 1911 to serve the municipal, recreational and performing arts needs of the city and central Vermont. In honor of the upcoming centennial of City Hall, major renovations are planned. Through a partnership between the City and the Montpelier Downtown Community Association, the roof has been replaced and historically appropriate repairs to the clock tower and windows will follow. These repairs and sidewalk improvements will enable City Hall to serve the community for years to come.

Montpelier is a Certified Local Government with a Historic Preservation Commission and a Design Review Committee. It also has participated in the National Main Street Program since 1999.

The Montpelier Heritage Group sponsors an annual Victorian Ice Cream Social and Croquet Tournament, annual preservation awards, and publishes three walking tours of Montpelier’s historic architecture. Brochures with maps, available in several locations, interpret sites on State Street, College Street, and Main Street.

For more information

Montpelier history: www.montpelier-vt.org/history

Historic walking tours: www.montpelier-vt.org/walkingtour

National Register Travel Itinerary: www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/centralvrmont

Posted May 14, 2009

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