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2021 Update #28

Middlebury Dedicates, Then Celebrates

The Highlights

  • Middlebury dedicates new park in Printer’s Alley to the Lazarus family

  • Paving of central downtown wraps up this week

  • Restoring the Otter Creek riverbank

As forecast, it was a big day for Middlebury.

Last Saturday local citizens joined Town and State officials in dedicating our newest downtown public space in Printer’s Alley to the Lazarus family and then celebrated the upcoming end of Middlebury’s Bridge & Rail project, which wraps up in September, with an afternoon-long series of events and giveaways in Triangle Park and around town sponsored by Neighbors Together and Town Hall Theater.

Following a welcome from Middlebury Selectboard Chair Brian Carpenter, the Lazarus Park dedication ceremony featured remarks from Governor Phil Scott, National Bank of Middlebury President Caroline Carpenter, former employee and eventual owner of the Lazarus Department Store Helen Haerle, Lazarus family member David Coen, and Rev. Paul Olsson representing the St. Stephen’s congregation, which envisioned and then funded the labyrinth that provides such a distinctive feature in the new park.

David Coen, a cousin of Stan and Mike Lazarus who ran Fishman’s Department Store in Vergennes for many years and who currently serves as Chair of the State of Vermont Transportation Board, provided what was for many the emotional heart of the ceremony with his personal reflections on the Lazarus family and their contributions to our town and to our state. You can read those remarks here.

You can also read up on the history of the Lazarus Department Store as it will appear in the historical panel that will soon be installed in the new park. That’s available here.

Following the dedication ceremony, as shown in the following two photographs, the crowd reassembled in Triangle Park for a ceremonial turning on by the Governor of Middlebury's historic fountain. By mid-afternoon, the kids of Middlebury had put the fountain to good use in Saturday’s heat.

Also attending the dedication ceremony were Secretary of Transportation Joe Flynn, Senators Dick Mazza and Chris Bray, Representative Amy Sheldon, and many in Middlebury who knew and admired the Lazarus family.

Your Weekly Construction Update

We’ll start this week’s construction update up on the north end of the project, where a crew from CSE Inc. out of Williston spent the week assembling the structural steel that will support the rail platform canopy. CSE expects to complete its work next week, putting in place the platform’s metal standing-seam roof. As you can see in our next photo below, it’s starting to really look like a rail platform.

Kubricky paved Maple Street in the Marble Works on Tuesday and Wednesday night along with the Battell driveway, Printer’s Alley, Merchants Row, and Main Street between Merchants and Seymour.

As we go to press Thursday afternoon, Kubricky expects to put a second and final course of paving on Main and Merchants Thursday night. Paving may extend into Friday night in order to pave sections of Seymour Street, Water Street, and the National Bank’s Seymour Street drive-in branch. Hutchins is expected to resume paving our town highways after Labor Day.

On the south end of the project, the access road that has formed a temporary roadway between Water Street and the Battell building for four years, is no more. As shown in our final photograph of the week, Kubricky has begun trucking in ashlar blocks and large crushed stone as the first step in restoring the riverbank along Otter Creek.

And here's to cooler days ahead!

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.


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