Middlebury

College buys property of historical significance

April 23, 2010

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Addison House, a 19th century building that has played an important role in Middlebury College’s history, recently returned to college ownership after almost 100 years.

Located at 152 College Street at the corner of  Weybridge and College streets, Addison House was originally built as a personal home in 1867 by Harvey Kitchel, who was president of Middlebury from 1866-1873. The college bought it in 1873. Over the years, Middlebury College Presidents Hulbert, Hamlin and Thomas also lived there.

In 1891, with an increasing number of women students and a shortage of housing, the college converted the structure into the first women’s residence hall. The building was named Battell Hall after Joseph Battell, a member of the Middlebury class of 1860 who had donated the funds to buy the house in 1873. The college sold the property in 1911.

According to a Feb. 22, 2010, article in the Addison Independent, before the college bought Addison House this year, it served for about 30 years as a community care home for the elderly. The facility was first known as Morningside Manor and then Betz’s Care Home before it was called Addison House. A local physician who had grown up in the house, where his own father practiced medicine, sold it to the owners of Morningside Manor.

The property became available recently when the current owners decided to retire and sell it. Called “a strategic and valuable addition” to the college in a message from Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz to the campus community, Addison House will serve as the new home of College Communications once renovations are complete in late summer.