Melinda’s Q/A with the Burlington Free Press

Main Street Landing  

Recently, Melinda had a chance to sit down with Dan D’Ambrosio of the Burlington Free Press for an interviewabout her successes in Burlington and as CEO of Main Street Landing. When asked, “Why Vermont?” Melinda had this to say:

I have been in Vermont for 40 years. I’ve been here since I was 22 years old. I am in Vermont because I love the people, I love the natural environment, I love the independence and the entrepreneurial spirit of Vermonters, and I love the forward-thinking politics of Vermont. I feel at peace. I feel very peaceful in Vermont. I …

Main Street Landing: “Thirty years and counting”

Main Street Landing  

 Main Street Landing has been in business since 1982. We are entering our 30th year of being on Burlington’s Waterfront creating positive change. Thirty years ago the Burlington Waterfront was a place that most parents told their children to stay away from. It was full of rail tracks, barbed wire fencing, a scrap metal yard, grainery with a handsome rat population, empty brick buildings, and overgrown weeds and shrubs. Just imagine living in Burlington during that time and never going to the waterfront because it just wasn’t a place where people were supposed to go. The Union Station was then owned by The Green Mountain Power Company, and the Haigh Mill and McKenzie Buildings were abandoned. The Pease Grainery and McNeil Power Plant were still in operation, but soon to be closed down. The tall brick chimney at the Haigh Mill reached lonely into the sky as did the Pease Grain Tower. Both structures were considered historic although in disrepair. It took years before the City of Burlington would allow Main Street Landing to have them removed. They were icons of a time long ago when the Burlington Waterfront hosted Presidents and yachtsmen, children on sleds, and ladies in big hats arriving from New York by train or steamship.

Rail service, if it really does come, will transform the economy of Burlington, and Vermont

Main Street Landing  

Sitting in my office on the third floor of Union Station, looking out over the waterfront and the empty train tracks running in front of the building, I can’t help but remember when 200 people sang “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” as the Champlain Flyer chugged into Burlington. I often reminisce about Twentieth Century Fox filming “Me Myself and Irene” with Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger in Union Station, and my tears of joy as Amtrak pulled into the station and sat there for three days as the back drop to Carrey’s hysterical antics.

Let’s face it, Burlington deserves passenger train service. Wouldn’t we all benefit from being able to leave our cars at home and travel in the comfort and freedom of rail? I believe most people love trains and will ride them. So why is it that I’m still waiting for the train?

Look at the rich history of rail in Burlington. It was in 1850 that the Rutland Railroad established a straight rail route north to Burlington, known as the Western Corridor — this was 160 years ago. Burlington grew up and around rail, and it was rail that helped define …

Melinda Moulton: Innovation comes from new ways of thinking

Main Street Landing  

Burlington Free Press

Innovation to me means developing and implementing new ideas, policies and procedures that change our way of thinking, our products, our communities and our world. Focusing your vision toward a goal that strongly references your values and ethics can create a truly inspirational and innovative business.

Main Street Landing for the past 30 years has focused the redevelopment of Burlington’s waterfront on ecology and social justice. Our commitment to localism and community, public transit, economic empowerment, the arts, green development, healthy and energy efficient buildings, and public access grew out of our deep and profound connection to the earth and the human condition. Companies that landed here decades ago were founded by a generation steeped in environmentalism and social justice, and they are rocking our economic world. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield created an empire with an idea that ice cream should be made with pure local products, housed in bright Holstein packaging, with funny and cool (no pun intended) names and recipes that touch the child within us.

Jeffrey Hollander and Alan Newman, co-founders of Seventh Generation, decided in 1988 that cleaning products should be made of ingredients that won’t harm the environment, and that everyone should honor the American Native belief that we should protect the environment for the next seven generations.

Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, founded by Beth Sachs and Blair Hamilton in 1986, is dedicated to reducing the economic, social and environmental costs of energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable technologies.

American Heart Association 2011 Go Red for Women Luncheon

Main Street Landing  

Melinda Moulton, CEO Main Street Landing, co-chair

Economic Footprint of the Arts in Vermont Study and Press

Main Street Landing  


Main Street Landing commissioned Doug Hoffer to provide a study that looks at the

Economic Footprint of the Arts in Vermont.  Download and Read the PDF


On November 17, 2010, Main Street Landing was featured in the Burlington Free Press for the study on the economic impact of the arts on Vermont.  

The Vermonter gets healthy boost, but Burlington rail overlooked

Main Street Landing  

Burlington Free Press

ESSEX JUNCTION — Melinda Moulton has been waiting more than a dozen years for Amtrak to pull into Burlington’s Union Station.

A day after residents learned The Vermonter line won a $50.5 million grant — helping slice 80 minutes off a trip from St. Albans to New York City and Washington, D.C. — rail advocates and state officials considered how best to rebound from the rejection a $71.5 million grant application to connect Burlington to the Ethan Allen Express and New York’s Penn Station.

Moulton, CEO and redeveloper of Main Street Landing, renovated the Burlington train station in 1997. She is pleased that stimulus money will support high-speed rail in Vermont, but bemoaned Burlington’s rejection.

“The state’s largest city needs to have rail service,” Moulton said.

Gov. Jim Douglas said efforts continue to search for money to build the “western corridor,” which would bring trains to Burlington. “That was our first choice,” Douglas said. “We’re still looking for ways to make that happen.”

Options include shuffling other federal stimulus money or going back and asking Congress for additional support, he said.

Moulton has another suggestion: “I built the station, and I waited and waited for the train,” she said. “Let’s get Amtrak to Burlington. This is a no-brainer. We have an earmark that is sitting there for this. Let’s spend it. Let’s get it done,” she said, referring to more than $20 million secured by former Sen. Jim Jeffords.

Burlington was connected to the rail network in 1850 but hasn’t been served by passenger trains since 1953, according to Vermont Rail Action Network. The grants leaked Wednesday night were part of the $8 billion in stimulus money dedicated to improving the U.S. rail network. The Northeast won $485 million in grants, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. John Zicconi, a spokesman for the Vermont Transportation Agency, said the improvements to The Vermonter will create 411 jobs, 363 of which are in construction.

Tightening security restrictions, which have made air travel more time-consuming and arduous, and fuel prices, which are about $1 a gallon higher than a year ago, have combined to make train travel more appealing.

Soon-Ja Park, 74, who caught The Vermonter in Essex Junction on Thursday morning bound for New York City, usually flies JetBlue but finds the train “very relaxing,” particularly because train travelers don’t have to endure security and baggage checks.

Moulton said she continues to hope downtown Burlington will have train service by the end of 2011. “I don’t want to …

Art on the Waterfront

Main Street Landing  

Since the early 1980’s, Melinda Moulton and Lisa Steele have pioneered environmental and socially responsible redevelopment. Their company, Main Street Landing, has been incrementally developing Burlington’s Waterfront, an endeavor that encompasses four buildings in one of the most important locales in the city.

What many people may not know is that Main Street Landing is home to one of the largest collections of art by Chittenden County artists and a hub of visual art activity. Union Station is home to the Art’s Alive Gallery, Katharine Montstream Studio, Green Mountain Photography, and Sue Miller’s Studio. The Wing Building hosts Artpath Gallery. Skinny Pancake in the Lake & College complex has rotating art exhibits. Scattered throughout the buildings is a remarkable collection of art, including some significant pieces of public art. In front of Union Station at One Main Street is Christopher Curtis’s sculpture, Venus. Lars-Erik Fisk’s Train Ball sits in the lower level and on the roof are Steve Larrabee’s Winged Monkeys. On the second floor of Union Station is a permanent exhibition of Peter Miller’s “Vermont Farm Women” photographs. In the lobby of the CornerStone Building at Three Main Street is Jack Chase’s sculpture, Mobile, and as you walk in, visitors are greeted by a large work-on-paper. A mural by Ron Hernandez is on the wall of the Lake Lobby of the Lake and College Building at the corner of Lake and College Streets. Throughout all of the buildings, art collected over the years dots the walls.

This cacophony of art is a far cry from how Moulton and Steele first found Union Station, their first building. “It was haunting to walk in here and walk into these empty cubicles and see the old dieffenbachia that had been there for two to three months while the building was going on the auction block, just lying on its side. It was all withered and dying and dead and then the phone lines coming out and the peeling paint and the chips and holes. And the green paint. I will never forget the green, institutional paint,” said …

Melinda Moulton “As One We can Make the Earth a Healthier Place to Live”

Main Street Landing  

Burlington Free Press Article – December 27th, 2009
By Melinda Moulton
‘Working as one, we can make this place we call ‘home’ a more healthy and productive environment’


Most of us realize we have the power to make the Earth a healthier place to live. And if given the choice, we would prefer to live healthier lives and create healthier lives for our family and friends. It’s basically inherent, I believe, in human nature to want to be healthy.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where so many things around us are not healthy. 2010 promises to be the year most people around the world will be thinking about what kind of life they and their children and grandchildren will be living in the next 25 years. With global warming affecting and altering our climate, we can expect to see a lot changes. The human race is scared.

Just the other day my home town of Huntington experienced 87-mph winds, which was a historic record. With climate change we are going to experience more severe weather. This is not an arguable point any longer.

So what do I plan to do in 2010 to contribute to a healthier planet? This fall we re-insulated our ceilings, which were 40 years old. It only cost a few hundred dollars, but the difference is amazing, and the upstairs of the house is so much warmer. For so little, we got so much in return.

We plan to replace our old wood and gas furnace with a new system in the spring in order …

Main Street Landing in Champlain Business Journal

Main Street Landing  

Redevelopment with a social conscience
Burlington waterfront project highlights environmentally responsible building practices
Published November 9, 2009


Main Street Landing is a focal point on the Burlington waterfront. And, Melinda Moulton is proud of the accolades it has garnered over the past several years.

A greater sense of pride, however, comes from the project’s wide community acceptance and approval, said Moulton, chief executive officer and redeveloper of the project.

“We had to work hard for the past 25 years to earn the trust and respect from the community to do what we did,” said Moulton, who referred to the numerous awards given to Main Street Landing as “the cherry on a hot fudge sundae.”

The waterfront is beautiful today, but it hasn’t always been that way. In the early 1920s, Moulton said, with the advent of the automobile, people turned their backs on the waterfront, which had previously been the main source of transportation and cargo shipment.

“It became a wasteland, really,” said Moulton. The area at that time was crisscrossed with railways and partitioned off with chain link fencing. It also was rife with rats.

That scenario is hard to imagine when looking at the beautiful location. Over the past 20 years, Main Street Landing has created approximately 250,000 square feet of built environment in a green and socially responsible way.

“We were the first people to really create something down here,” Moulton said. “We brought our vision to this landscape.”

That the space was redeveloped in a green, sustainable way is something as commonsense to Moulton as adding butter to bread. It would be hard, if not impossible, for her to imagine completing the project any other way. Lisa Steele, also a redeveloper, has been partnering with Moulton on projects since the early 1980s.

“Both Lisa and I are products of the 60’s, and the 60’s movement was a lot about social justice . . . we were peace activists, social activists,” said Moulton. “When we got into doing the work that we are doing, our values and our morals were very much predicated by social justice and environmental justice.”

Moulton said both she and Steele came to Vermont …

Main Street Landing Presents Hansel & Gretel at the Black Box

Main Street Landing  

Fri, Dec 18th – Sun, Dec 20th
National Marionette Theater’s Hansel and Gretel
National Marionette Theater’s Hansel and Gretel
Friday – December 18th @ 7 p.m.
Saturday – December 19th @ 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Sunday – December 20th @ 2 p.m.

Tickets available at

Tickets $10.00 for adults and $5.00 children
Company: Main Street Landing Presents
Contact: Melinda Moulton
Phone: 802-864-7999