Municipality: Barnet, VT
Location: Main Street (Route 5), McIndoe Falls
Site Type: School
Vt Survey No: 0301-140.05, within McIndoe Falls Historic District (State)
UTMs: (Zone 18)
National Register Nomination Information:
The McIndoes Academy is located along Vermont Route 5 behind a broad green flanked by maple trees.
The two story, clapboarded structure, executed in Greek Revival style, is rectangular in plan (45' x 56'), sets on a foundation of rough-cut stone blocks and is capped by a gable roof sheathed with standing seam metal sheathing.
The most prominent feature of the Academy is the full two story projecting entrance portico which frames the two central bays of the front (west) elevation. The portico's pediment, embellished with alternating single and paired scolled brackets, is supported by fluted, tapered wood Doric columns. Pilasters separate the center bays from the two side bays. A double door pedimented entrance with sidelights is located at the ground level in the center of the elevation. A large rectangular window with 12/12 double hung sash, capped by a pedimented hood moulding, is set in each side bay at the ground floor and in all bays at the second story level.
The north and south (side) elevations are three bays wide. The rear (east) elevation has four bays. Fenestration is similar to the front elevation with the addition of a window near the roof peak on each side elevation and two exit doors on the rear elevation.
The structure has a wood cornice supported by alternating single and paired scrolled brackets. A brick end interior chimney is located on the roof ride at the north side. A two-tiered cupola with large rectangular louvered openings, surmounted by a Mansard dome, is located at the junction of the main and portico roof ridges.
Significant alterations to the building include: periodic modernization of the interior to meet state educational standards and health and safety codes; replacement of original raised paneled main doors in the mid-twentieth century with doors with large rectangular windows; addition of a ground floor window on the south (side) elevation; addition of fire exits on the rear (east) elevation.
The McIndoes Academy building (1853) symbolizes the heyday of the academy movement in Vermont. During the years 1849-1853 over 25 private academies were chartered in the state.(1)
The structure is representative of the vernacular application of the Greek Revival mode to secondary school architecture and serves as the visual focus of the village of McIndoe Falls village.
The prosperity or the lumber concern, Kimball, Gilchrist & Co., heightened by the completion in 1850 of the Connecticut and Passumpsic Railway line to McIndoe Falls, increased the population and contributed greatly to the welfare of the village.
Steps were taken to improve the cultural advantages of the growing village. In the same year that the railroad arrived, an attractive Congregational Church was erected.
Public-spirited citizens of the community, alert to educational, as well as to religious needs, set out to establish a secondary school to provide more advanced instruction for the young people of the region.
In 1853 an association was formed to establish an academy. A building was begun under the direction of William C. Martin, master carpenter. The project had the support of the community, like the traditional barn raisings. Some of the subscribers made their payments in lumber and in work, farmers using their ox teams to help dig the cellar or to draw stone for the foundation and lumber for the frame.(2)
The structure, completed and opened on September 14, 1853, served as the region's secondary school until the acacemv closed in 1969. The building is now being used as a museum, library and community center.
Gibson, Alexander D., History of McIndoes Academy, McIndoe Falls: Alumni Association, 1953.
DATE ENTERED: May 6, 1975.
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