Mayo Building
Photograph by Tracey Martin, courtesy of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce

  Mayo Building circa 1900
Photograph from Picture Northfield, courtesy of Alan H. Weiss

Directly across Depot Square from the Central Vermont Rail Depot, stands the Mayo Building. This early 20th-century structure ranks among the finest examples in Vermont of classically influenced commercial architecture of this period. Erected in 1902, the building was financed by local developer Dr. William B. Mayo, and designed by the Burlington, Vermont architectural firm of Lane and Son. It was the largest commercial block ever erected in Northfield, and is especially significant because it has undergone very little alteration.

Mayo was a successful doctor and state legislature who settled in Northfield in 1878. In addition to his medical and political careers, Mayo became interested in redeveloping Northfield's business district at the close of the 19th century. The Mayo building is the culmination of his efforts to renovate or build modern commercial buildings symbolic of the prosperity of Northfield. The Mayo Building was the third and largest of his development projects. After its completion a contemporary writer lauded the building as "probably the finest block in the state outside the cities, a credit to the town and a lasting monument to the enterprise and public sprit of Dr. Mayo."

The Mayo Building is also a monument to the Northfield granite industry. Erected during that local industry's boom, granite decorative details were liberally applied to the four story masonry building. The interior of the building was designed to accommodate several different businesses. The village Post Office occupied the central section of the first story, flanked by storefronts with plate glass display windows. The second floor contained professional office space, including the offices of Dr. Mayo. Apartment space occupied the third floor, while the fourth was designed specifically for meeting rooms for Dr. Mayo's Masonic Lodge.

A century old, the Mayo Building is still owned by the doctor's descendants. In the 1980s it underwent a renovation sympathetic to the buildings historic character. Today it houses the same mix of commericial and residential functions as the building did originally.

The Mayo Building is located at 2 S. Main St. on the east side of Depot Sq. in Northfield. Several of the businesses are open to the public during normal office hours.

Vermont History EssayAgriculture and Industry EssayVermont Landscapes EssayTransportation Essay


Itinerary Home | List of Sites | Main Map | Learn More | Next Site


Comments or Questions