Decker Towers

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Decker Towers
Decker Towers from St. Paul Street
Decker Towers from St. Paul Street
Alternative names230 St. Paul Street
General information
Typepublic housing, offices
Location230 St. Paul Street, Burlington, Vermont
Coordinates44°28′22″N 73°12′48″W / 44.4727°N 73.213207°W / 44.4727; -73.213207Coordinates: 44°28′22″N 73°12′48″W / 44.4727°N 73.213207°W / 44.4727; -73.213207
Construction startedOctober 29, 1970 (1970-10-29)
Estimated completion1971[1]
OpeningAugust 31, 1971 (1971-08-31)
OwnerBurlington Housing Authority
ManagementBurlington Housing Authority
Antenna spire124 ft (38 m), 116.3 ft (35 m) to mechanicals[2]
Roof101.3 ft (31 m)[2]
Top floor11
Technical details
Floor count11
Floor area120,080 sq ft (11,200 m2)[3]
Design and construction
DeveloperPizzagalli Construction Company

Decker Towers is an eleven-floor apartment building located at 230 St. Paul Street in Burlington, Vermont.[4] At 124 feet (38 m) tall, it is the tallest building in the U.S. state of Vermont,.[nb 1] It is currently the shortest of any of the US states' tallest buildings, in part because Burlington is the smallest of the US states' biggest cities. Decker Towers was built as a turnkey project. After it was built by Pizzagalli Construction Company in 1971, it was purchased by the city of Burlington.[5] It is owned and managed as public housing by the Burlington Housing Authority.[3][6] The assessed value of Decker Towers is $11,104,000, with the building, land, and yard items valued at $10,224,700; $712,900; and $166,400, respectively.[3]


Decker Towers has a small community garden.[7] Decker Towers has 161 apartments for seniors and people with disabilities. The apartments are either one bedroom or efficiency apartments; six apartments are wheelchair accessible. There is also a dining area, a library, and an 11th floor sitting area. The tenant organization hosts monthly dinners, holiday events and bingo.[8]

The Burlington Housing Authority's Neighborhood Networks Technology Center is located within Decker Towers. It has computers for use by all residents of subsidized housing in the Burlington area.[9]


When it opened on August 31, 1971, Decker Towers was called 230 St. Paul Street (its official address then and now). It was the fourth property owned by the Burlington Housing Authority. It was built on top of the old Burlington ravine sewer route.[10]

In late 1971, the administrative offices of the Burlington Housing Authority were moved to the first floor of 230 St. Paul Street. The offices were there until July 2002. The building was dedicated as Decker Towers on May 9, 2003 (2003-05-09).


Detail of Decker Towers Renovation

Decker Towers was built with an orange brick exterior. In 1984, exterior insulation was added over the brick as well as pastel swatches designed by Rolf Kielman.[11]

Prior to 2010, the building's exterior had degraded: there were cracks, moisture in the insulation, and window seals were no longer fully functional.[2]

In 2009, money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was used at Decker Towers to replace hallway floors as well as resurface the parking lot. Additional funding for renovations also came from Capital Fund Grants.[12]

Other renovations included weatherproofing, a thorough power-wash, reinforcement of stucco, application of a waterproof membrane, a fiberglass mesh layer, and new caulk. The dust barriers were also replaced.[2]

More than 550 windows were removed and replaced with energy-efficient windows, and 33,000 sq ft (3,066 m2) of exterior insulation finishing system was improved by increasing the thickness of the insulation and re-painting the building.[13]

Decker Towers was fully occupied and functioning during the renovations. The project was finished ahead of schedule.[13]

Smoking policy[edit]

Decker Towers caught on fire on February 17, 2010, due to careless smoking. Water from the building's fire sprinkler system caused $100,000 damage.[14]

Decker Towers are smoke-free as of November 1, 2010. The new policy was encouraged by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The change was motivated by concerns about the effects of second-hand smoke and by safety concerns. The policy will require resident smokers to leave the property, and violating the policy will result in terminating tenancy.[14] Smoking cessation programs were made available at little to no cost.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ While Decker Towers is the tallest building in Vermont, Bennington Battle Monument is a taller monument, and the WKDR Radio Tower is the tallest man-made structure in Vermont.


  1. ^ Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, pg. 64.
  2. ^ a b c d "Burlington high-rise gets facelift | Burlington Free Press". 2010-09-07. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  3. ^ a b c "City of Burlington, Vermont | Assessor's Property Database". 2010-12-20. Archived from the original on 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  4. ^ a b "Decker Towers data". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  5. ^ Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods
  6. ^ [1] Archived August 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Friends of Burlington Gardens. "Friends of Burlington Gardens :: Vermont Community Garden Network". Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  8. ^ "Decker Towers Apartments". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  9. ^ "BHA Technology Center". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  10. ^ Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, pg. 65
  11. ^ Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, pg. 64-65
  12. ^ "HUD-50075" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  13. ^ a b "Exterior Designs completes renovation of 11-story Decker Towers; 160 units owned by Burlington Housing Authority". NEREJ. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  14. ^ a b "Smoke-Free Environments Law Project". Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  15. ^ "Burlington Housing Authority bans smoking at housing complexes". WCAX. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2011-04-16.

Works cited[edit]

  • Chittenden Country Historical Society, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods (vol. 1).