PEARL HOUSE PROJECT—CAMPUS MASTER PLAN
After more than 30 years of acquiring and re-purposing buildings in the town of Johnson to provide supportive shelter to artists and writers, the Vermont Studio Center has embarked on a Campus Master Plan that will result in comprehensive upgrades in sustainability, historic preservation, accessibility, safety, function, and comfort in each of our studio and housing buildings.
Renovations to Pearl House are scheduled to begin on September 30, 2019. Please return to this web area for important construction updates and images.
We have worked closely with our construction team to minimize disruptions to campus life throughout this renovation project. Construction will take place weekdays only, beginning no earlier than 7:30 a.m. and ending no later than 5 p.m.
A heads up—residents with rooms on the north side of Corner House (which is next to Pearl House) should follow directional signs to enter Corner House. Thank you for your patience and support!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF VSC’S PEARL HOUSE
The house you see today at 24 Clay Hill Road in Johnson likely dates to 1880, although records show that the house’s annex (the middle portion of the structure) was built in 1839. The house was home to the Dow family in the mid-1800s, and Stephen Dow and his brother Andrew were one-time partners in a woolen mill in Johnson. It was sold and improvements were made in the 1880s, with ownership changing hands several times in the ensuing decades. The house was remodeled by Johnson State College (now Northern Vermont University-Johnson) in the 1950s and used as an infirmary. The property was named Silas Pearl House to honor the principal of the Johnson Normal School in the late 1800s.
Architecture enthusiasts will recognize several architectural styles in the house—Colonial Revival, Classic Revival, Queen Anne (Victorian). The State of Vermont sold the house in 1980 and the property was purchased by Vermont Studio Center in 1991. With nine bedrooms, Pearl House served as a home to nearly 3,000 VSC residents since that time. After the renovations, the house will have 14 bedrooms, two of which will be en-suite apartments.