This Place in History: Little Italy

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Little Italy? In Burlington? Until the mid 1900’s it was an entire neighborhood in the downtown area! The Vermont Historical Society tells us more in this episode of “This Place in History.”

Steve Perkins, the executive director of the Vermont Historical Society tells us more about the vibrant immigrant community that used to be right on the edge of Lake Champlain. Immigrants worked on the waterfront and many lived right on Battery Street.

But what happened to it all?

“This goes back to a conversation to what this country was going to do in the 50’s and the 60’s. They said, our cities are dying. People are leaving the cities, and by people they meant, you know, white, upper class folks, are leaving the cities,” says Perkins.

The city wanted to get the upper class people back into the cities and they did that by knocking down neighborhoods and moving people in to project housing. The plan was to create a large convention center, malls and parking garages and a highway in place of the communities to bring upper class people back.

“The highway was never built. That was meant to come right along the water front, so right along Lake Champlain,” says Perkins.

Take a look at the video above to check out some of the maps with plans for the downtown back in that time frame. And follow this link to see an interactive map!

To see all of our “This Place in History” stories with the Vermont Historical Society, click here.
 
Explore more of Vermont’s history! Click here for a map of all of the Vermont’s roadside historic markers.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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