In the southern region of Ethan Allen Park, stands a 112 year old structure that needed some love and care; the Ethan Allen Tower. The condition of the stonework was deteriorating, especially on the weather ravaged west and north sides of the forty foot tower, so Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront undertook the reappointing of the stonework.
With funding from the City’s Penny for Parks program and the Vermont Community Foundation, BPRW’s planning team oversaw the extensive restoration project, expertly executed by Alpine Restoration during the late fall and early winter of 2016.
Special care was taken to investigate and reconstruct areas of significant failure, including a bulge in the buttressed base at the northwest corner of the structure, and the highly exposed cantilevered parapet (low wall at the edge of a roof, bridge or balcony). During the work, restorers discovered signs that the original mortar color closely matched the stonework, and the repairs were made to match that early design! The entire structure was then treated with a penetrating waterproofing that will significantly extend the life of the recent mortar work.
Now the tower stands as sturdy as ever, ready to take on the flux of visitors this summer.
In addition to the restoration of the tower, the path leading up to it got a full makeover as well!
The journey is just as important as the destination, which is why the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) took special care to renovate the Ethan Allen Tower Access Path. Prior to renovations the path was a mix of bedrock and gravel, with heavy erosion issues due to the steepness and incline of the slope, particularity in the top 200 feet of the path.
To combat this, 45 yards of new stone was added to the path, and ten more water bars were introduced to distribute the water drainage more evenly, and effectively. Drainage trenching was added to the side of the trails to compliment the water bar diversions.
Today, the path and tower are open to the public and are looking as good as ever. Come see for yourself, the tower is open every day thanks to The Tower Keypers.
About the Tower Keypers
Ethan Allen Tower is a landmark of the city, a place that everyone who resides in or around Burlington should go at least once. It’s open every day thanks to a group of volunteers called the Tower Keypers.
The Tower Keypers consist of around 25 individuals. Rotating every day, one Tower Keyper opens the gate in the morning so visitors and residents alike, can climb to the top of the tower and take in the breathtaking 360 degree view. Without their amazing help, the tower would only be able to open on special occasions.