Montpelier's Historic French Block: 18 New Apartments

French Block, Montpelier

In a historic downtown block on Main Street in Montpelier, the capitol of Vermont, the French Block was an ambitious development that rehabilitated 18 second and third floor apartments that had been vacant since 1937. Jay Ancel, of Black River Design, architect for the project noted that he worked unsuccessfully with five different clients over the last 35 years to rehabilitate the building before Downstreet Housing & Community Development, the local affordable housing developer, took it on, working with Housing Vermont.

Prior to rehab, code violations pertained to exits, fire separations, ADA shortcomings, structural deficiencies, hazardous materials, energy shortcomings, leaking roof, antiquated electrical, plumbing and heating, and deteriorated finishes. The developers persevered, and after residents moved in, citizens were delighted to see that once again, the “lights are on” in this core downtown building. The residents live within easy walking distance of the market, pharmacies, the library, services, public transportation, and health care providers. Learn more