Its downtown, with several prominent sculptures and granite faced buildings, reflects that heritage. Local cemeteries showcase the artistry of generations of stone sculptors too, including intricate carvings and life-size statutes. Up on Quarry Hill, just minutes from downtown, an estimated 4,500-year supply of Barre Gray granite is still being quarried!
The 19th century influx of well-educated, sophisticated granite industry workers and artisans from across Europe brought Barre a diverse cultural heritage, and a living legacy. The historic Barre Opera House and Socialist Labor Hall have been restored and now host local and national artists,as well as community and statewide gatherings.
The green lawn of City Hall Square hosts concerts and art exhibits, and is surrounded by historic churches and the Aldrich Public Library. The nearby Studio Place Arts, created by a group of artisans, contains a gallery, studios, offices, photographic darkroom and café. The Stone Arts School, part of the Vermont Granite Museum, features world-class granite sculptors, including Guiliano Cecchinelli, who teach this centuries old art, key to Barre's development, to young people.
Barre is also the home of the Vermont Historical Society (VHS), an historic attraction of statewide importance. The Vermont History Center, located in a beautifully restored, 19th century historic landmark, houses the society's collections. The research library, the largest genealogical resource in Vermont, is also located here.