Wheelock Law Office
Photograph courtesy of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce

  Historic view of Wheelock's home and the Law Office, on the right

The Wheelock Law Office, erected in 1871, is a good example of domestically scaled Second Empire commercial architecture. Many of the building's original elements remain which characterize the Second Empire architectural style, including a slate mansard roof, projecting entrance tower, deep moldings, and arched and pedimented windows and doors.

The building was constructed for Langdon Chieves Wheelock, a renowned Barre lawyer, for use as his law office and a local courtroom. A Vermont native, born in Calais in 1822, Wheelock migrated to Barre as a teacher in the village school. Studying the law under Newell Kinsman, another prominent Barre lawyer, Wheelock took over Kinsman's practice in 1850 after he was admitted to the Vermont Bar. At that time, Wheelock also purchased Kinsman's 1825 Federal brick home. Late in life Wheelock built his law office on property adjacent to his home. The Law Office design was complimentary to the domestic architecture of the residential neighborhood and differs greatly from the commercial buildings constructed along Main Street later in the century. It had been complete for only two years when Wheelock died of diphtheria in 1873. The Granite Savings Bank and Trust Company occupied the building in the 1880s, at a time when the nature and character of the neighborhood were rapidly changing.

The Wheelock Law Office today stands wedged between massive commercial buildings in the downtown business district. It is the only domestically-scaled building to remain on its end of N. Main Street and continues to reflect the street's 19th-century character--a wide tree-lined thoroughfare flanked by imposing residences. Many small retail businesses have occupied the building throughout its history. Since 1975, it has housed the Barre Senior Citizen Center. Although the building has undergone some significant alterations on the first floor, the second floor is still intact.

The Wheelock Law Office is located at 135 N. Main St. and is currently occupied by a local senior citizens group. It is not open to the public.

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