This is neat: Seven Days has a cool story about a landmark home in Burlington with an odd dome at the top. The dome is a former observatory, at one point, the largest in the state:
The rooftop observatory, which takes the place of the cupola associated with the Italianate architectural style, contained a telescope 6.5 inches in diameter that could magnify objects up to 400 times. It was, in its day, the largest telescope in the state of Vermont, notes the 1991 edition of the Burlington neighborhood guide written by David J. Blow and published by the Chittenden County Historical Society.
Read the full article here.