Address: 200-206 South Main Street
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Year Built: c. 1840s, altered c. 1900s
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: James George

The building was owned, if not constructed by, James George, who used the block for his grocery and bakery.  George was born in Somersetshire, England on May 4, 1809.  When he was 24 years old, he immigrated to Portchester, New York, where he met his wife, Catherine.  They were married in 1835.  A year later, they settled in Columbus, Ohio, where George not only started his own bakery, but constructed the building in which it was housed.  This building, known as the Buckeye Block, was located somewhere near the intersection of Broad and High Streets, near the Capitol Square.  Eventually, George included both wholesale and retail grocery services to his business as his trade increased.  By 1849, George tired of mercantile life, at which time he sold part of his Columbus real estate and his entire stock of goods so that he could start a small farm near Fredericktown, in Knox County.  Growing restless, George moved his family to Mount Vernon in 1852, where he again entered into baking and grocery supplies on the southeast corner of South Main and Gambier Streets.  According to his wife, George "was never idle—being always employed either in selling goods, erecting houses, improving property, or farming."  By 1875, he decided to retire to a farm one mile west of Mount Vernon on New Delaware Road, where he died four years later on June 25, 1879.

This large Greek Revival commercial block is located on the southeast corner of South Main and Gambier Streets, a highly traveled intersection of two major state highways: OH-229 and what was originally OH-3, prior to a rerouting via West  High Street.  The James George Block was most likely constructed in the late-1840s to early-1850s, around the time that George relocated to Mount Vernon.  At one time, the side gable extended over the entire complex.  Now, the northern quarter of the building has a flat roof with a small, blank-face parapet, while the southern three-quarters retain the side gable.  Above the tiny dentils around the cornice are small frieze windows, located in the southern three-quarters of the cornice, which have since been removed.  Many of the upper-story windows are covered with permanent 6-panel slat shutters.  All of the four storefronts have been modified, though the northernmost and southernmost retain cast iron pilasters.



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