For nearly four decades, Arthur’s Department Store a played a critical role in the economic and downtown vibrancy of Morrisville. When beloved owners Arthur and Theresa Breault retired, the closing of their store created an empty hole in the heart of the community.
For the Lamoille Housing Partnership, the closure created an opportunity — an opportunity to repurpose the building with a mix of first floor commercial space and upper floor residential apartments and businesses. In their view, done right, the building could serve the community in a myriad of ways as well as continuing to benefit the local economy and preserve downtown vibrancy.
In 2013, Lamoille Housing Partnership partnered with Housing Vermont to purchase Arthur’s Department Store and begin the project. Rehabilitation efforts included critical structural improvements, foundation work, complete renovation of interior spaces, restoration of the commercial storefronts, and energy efficiency upgrades to optimize the building’s energy use.
The final project successfully addresses the dual need for affordable housing and a vibrant community center. All of the eighteen apartments are rented by low to moderate income Vermonters – individuals, families, and even some who have been previously homeless. The thriving Black Cap Coffee and Pizza On Main occupy the two commercial spaces and provide jobs to two dozen local workers.
When Arthur Breault retired, her really hoped something wonderful would happen with his building. Thanks to the careful planning, good partnership and creative problem solving of the Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont, Arthur’s on Main has become something wonderful.
Preservation Award to The Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont for the rehabilitation of Arthur’s on Main in Morrisville, VT.