A History of 254 South Union Street Guesthouse

254 South Union Street was built in 1887 for William Greenleaf, an employee at the Customs House in Burlington, VT. Since then, it has remained a family house. Local high school yearbooks from the early 1920’s show that 254 was the residence of the high school boy’s basketball team captain and his family. The Reilly family has lived at 254 since 1978.

The House is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places, is part of Burlington’s Historic District, and is also on the Burlington Vermont Civil War Walking Places Tour. ¬†General Greenleaf’s obituary is available on the Google Archive.

Listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places

The following is a description of this property made by the National Register of Historic Places:

254 South Union Street is a handsome Queen Anne dwelling with Stick style elements whose ventral two-story hip roof core is broken on three sides by 2 1/2 story, gabled projections, along with a 2 1/2 story wing in the rear.

The gabled front facade features a canted bay window on the first story with flushboard panels above and below each window. A wood-shingled, bellcast roof over this bay rests on jigsawn brackets, and leads to a second story balcony surrounding paired windows. Above this, in the gable, is a recessed balcony with a round-arched opening.

The entrance porch on the northwest corner features a pedimented gablet with a sunburst motif in the tympanum, which is echoed by radiating clapboards in a small, wedge-shaped piece linking the porch roof to the front bay. A one story porch with a canted corner projects from the southwest (right front) corner. The two porches and the balcony feature turned posts on chamfered bases, simple curved brackets forming arched bays and stickwork balustrades; the two porches rest on brick piers.

A distinctive wide frieze of alternating diagonal and vertical boarding ranges along the entire front facade, introducing a Stick style element, which is seen again in the fascia boards at the second story levels on the north and south walls. The canted south bay has large, paired brackets with pendant over the angled sections. Plain friezes and simple jigsaw brackets supporting molded cornices characterize each roof line.

The stone foundation, plain water table and corner boards, simple bargeboards, and cornice returns further distinguish this house. The gable peaks have fish scale shingling while the remainder of the house is clapboard; the roof is slate and foundation redstone.