Montpelier, VT: Built Capital

Montpelier, VT


Built Capital


The built world is what most people interact with everyday. So much of a community of place can be derived from the aesthetic feeling people get by the building styles and arrangements. Montpelier, Vermont has an exceptional array of built capital which all tell part of the city’s rich history.


The most obvious asset to Montpelier’s built capital is the state building that was constructed in 1859 after being burned to the ground. It is one of the oldest remaining state capital buildings in the country; it still even has its original seating! The building was constructed to look like the nation’s capital to evoke a sense of trust and loyalty in state government, much like people had in the federal government at the time. The building has the Greek goddess of agriculture, Ceres, perched atop the golden dome, which acknowledges the importance agriculture had to the state at the time (United States Vermont).


One of Montpelier’s main attractions is the historic building district that is currently comprised of over 450 buildings in the down town area. The 450 buildings have different styles and were made in different time periods, which highlights the city’s slow, but, steady growth throughout the 19th and 20th centuries (United States Montpelier).


According to the U.S. Census data, only 17.4% of people who live in Montpelier walk to work whereas 63% of people drive to work alone (DADS 2015). Because so many people drive to work, there is room to improve the amount of sustainable built infrastructure to increase the use of active transportation around the city.




Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). (2015). Commuting To Work. Retrieved from


United States. National Park Service. (n.d.). Montpelier Historic District. Retrieved from


United States. National Park Service. (n.d.). Vermont State House. Retrieved from