Address: 15 East Vine Street
Architectural Style: Eclectic
Year Built: 1900
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Republican Publishing Company

The Republican Publishing Company, which printed two of Mount Vernon's earliest newspapers, the daily Republican-News and the semi-weekly Knox County Republican News, once occupied the ground-level commercial space of this building for its distribution center, as well as the upper-level offices and the basement, which housed the large printing presses and folding machines.  These machines and were capable of printing 5,000 to 6,000 completed folded papers per hour, an averaged of six pages thick.

The Republican-News and its competitor, the Democratic Banner, both lasted well into the mid-20th century, but beginning in the early-20th century, the Republican-News became the more successful of the two newspapers.  It eventually bought and merged with the Democratic Banner in the mid-1930s.  It soon became apparent that their facilities were not large enough to accommodate the demands of its consumers, which doubled in number after the merger.  In 1938, the Republican-News constructed a new modern building across the street and renamed its paper the Mount Vernon News.  Locally owned, the Mount Vernon News continues to be the largest and most widely-read newspaper in Knox County.

A faded painted advertisement for the Republican Publishing Company is still visible on the southwest corner of the building, facing the alley.  This building seems to stand alone in design, setting, and function along this short section of East Vine Street.  Built to serve a primarily commercial function, this building has since been transformed to serve a dual commercial and residential function.  The Republican News Building offers a visual relief from the standard Italianate design of most of the other downtown commercial buildings.  It contains eclectic elements of Jacobethan, Italianate, and Neo-Classical design.  The oriel window that projects from the center of the building is perhaps the most character-defining element of this building, which stands isolated on the north side of Vine Street between Blackberry Alley and a private residence.

 


 

Downtown District

District Properties