Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Decker Towers

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Alternative names  230 St. Paul Street
Height  38 m
Floors  11
Estimated completion  1971
Status  Complete
Opened  31 August 1971
Construction started  29 October 1970
Decker Towers
Type  public housing, offices
Location  230 St. Paul Street, Burlington, Vermont
Opening  August 31, 1971 (1971-08-31)
Management  Burlington Housing Authority
Address  230 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401, USA
Owner  Burlington Housing Authority
Similar  CenturyLink Tower, Franklin Towers, First Interstate Center, City Hall Plaza, Conoco‑Phillips Building

Decker Towers is an eleven-floor apartment building located at 230 St. Paul Street in Burlington, Vermont. At 124 feet (38 m) tall, it is the tallest building in the U.S. state of Vermont, and the shortest of any state's tallest building. It is located in the smallest of any state's biggest city (Burlington, Vermont). 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. It is owned and managed as public housing by the Burlington Housing Authority. 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.



Decker Towers has a small community garden. 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.

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.


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.

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).


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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Smoking policy

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.

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. Smoking cessation programs were made available at little to no cost.

Works cited

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

    Decker Towers Wikipedia