AIAVT Launches Architectural Scavenger Hunts Throughout the State

Jeff McBride, AIA of Birdseye took his son Parker, (6) and daughter Charlie, (9) to Burlington to take part in the AIAVT Architectural Scavenger Hunt this Spring.

“Best day I’ve ever spent in St. Albans!” was the verdict of one participant who traveled with family members of all ages to take part in AIAVT’s recent scavenger hunt in that city.  Along the way his group encountered other families puzzling over the same clues, trying to find and learn a little about the historic architecture of downtown – and maybe win a prize!  The St. Albans route was developed by Evan Champagne of E4H Environments for Health Architecture and was the first in a series of architectural hunts organized for locations around the state.  

A downtown Burlington scavenger hunt followed in May, guided by a clues sheet filled with photos and facts collected by Jane Pickell of Freeman French Freeman.  Pickell, who concocted the idea for the architectural scavenger hunt series, was joined on the kick-off day in Burlington by AIAVT Executive Director, Sarah O Donnell and Public Outreach Committee members Jeff McBride and Matt Bushey at an AIAVT table on Church Street, to hand out the clues and engage people in discussions about all things architecture.

The clues sheets for each hunt are made available here shortly before the event and will remain available following the launch date so people can participate on their own schedule.  Extra clues sheets are available for pick up at local libraries. 

The clues include a little bit of history for each building, accompanied by a visual hint, and are simple enough to set kids of all ages running to find the information to fill in the blanks.  The answers can be found on or at the buildings, but the buildings’ names are not included, and the answers are not easily google-able, because we want to encourage everyone to get outside and look up at architecture in person. Completed sheets can be submitted by email, to be entered into a prize drawing.  Architectural Scavenger Hunt sponsors include Crown Point Cabinetry, Anderson Windows and Doors, and Austin Design.

After learning about the St. Albans scavenger hunt on Instagram, AIAVT member Chamois Holschuh of Austin Design reached out to the chapter to propose a version that will coincide with the August Gallery Walk in Brattleboro.  We were very happy to provide templates and information to help Chamois and their coworkers customize an architectural scavenger hunt with their knowledge of their own downtown, and we hope that more members and firms will reach out with ideas for next places to continue this series around Vermont, through 2021 and beyond.