Voting for the 2022 Best Places in Local Government (aka the #ELGLKnope) Round of 8 opens on March 21, 2022 and closes at midnight PT on Friday, March 25, 2022. One vote per person. Learn more about this award online.
Montpelier City Hall
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
- Online https://www.montpelier-vt.org/960/City-Hall
- Year(s)/Era: 1908
- Type of Place: Building, Structure
- Nomination: Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the United States with a population of just under 8,000 people. It’s a small town with big city amenities – a lively arts and music scene, great restaurants, excellent schools, and an active community life. There are lots of opportunities to participate in local government, recreation, the faith and wisdom communities, and healthy lifestyles. Montpelier City Hall is located in downtown Montpelier — the entire downtown is a designated historic district!
- Most notable attribute(s): The density of development in Montpelier’s downtown and its location along two rivers has exposed the city to fires and floods. Two fires in 1875 destroyed 38 buildings on Main, State, and Barre Streets. The commercial center of the city was rebuilt with brick to avoid future conflagrations, including the City Hall built in 1909. The historic City Hall is also home to the Lost Nation Theater (located on the 2nd floor of the building). Lost Nation Theater dedicates itself to staging stories about the hopeful possibilities of human interaction; to education; and to realizing the powerful potential of theater to transform people and communities. Montpelier’s City Hall is crowned with a tall, centrally placed clock tower.
- Special designations or recognitions: With evidence of Native American occupations extending as far back as 13,000 years ago, Vermont has a rich cultural, historical, and architectural legacy. This significant heritage manifests itself in the state’s ancient Native encampments, agricultural farmsteads with timber-framed barns and rising silos, villages with white-spired churches and town halls marking the valley bottoms and maple-strewn hillsides, downtowns centered on railroad depots and sites of early industrial centers, summer retreats surrounding lakes and ponds, and ski resorts nested on the slopes of the green mountains. Vermont is also known for preserving its historic downtowns and village centers. https://accd.vermont.gov/historic-preservation
- Three words to describe: Downtown, Community-Hub, Historic
- Anything else to share? Like many communities throughout the country, Montpelier, Vermont is reckoning with its violent past of removing Indigenous Peoples from their land. As European and then American settlers moved into Vermont’s interior in the 18th century, many Abenaki, dispossessed of their lands, fled, moved, or hid their identities and outwardly integrated into the dominant American cultural milieu. In recent decades, surviving Abenaki descendants have emerged from hiding to reclaim their culture and history. Today, there are four State-recognized Abenaki tribes.In East Montpelier, there is the Vermont Abenaki Indian Museum. The mission of the museum is to provide a cultural Learning center for Native Americans in Vermont as well as anyone who wants to learn about the heritage and culture of the Vermont Abenaki and other Indigenous tribes residing in Vermont is the Abenaki Indian Museum primary mission. The Museum was created in 2007 to make sure that the museum will continue to preserve its history for the future generations to recognize. The Vermont Historical Society (also located in Downtown Montpelier) ensures that history dating back to the Abenaki Tribes influence in Vermont is recognized. https://vermonthistory.org/mission-and-strategic-plan/Back in 2018, the city council of Montpelier established the Social and Economic Justice Advisory Committee “to assist city council in addressing and reshaping systems, policies, and practices that perpetuate barriers to racial, social, and economic justice in our community.” https://montpelierbridge.org/2021/09/city-commits-to-equity-and-inclusion/
City of Montpelier
Montpelier, Vermont 05602