Address: 218 South Main Street
Architectural Style: Italianate
Year Built: c. 1880s
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Unknown

If it were not for its distinct facade, this very narrow, short commercial building would be nearly invisible to passersby.  Constructed sometime in the 1880s, this unique building seems squeezed into a narrow space—only nine feet wide—between two much larger brick structures.  Local traditions claims that his building was constructed over the course of a single weekend in a vacated alley by bricking the entrance, adding a rear wall approximately 50 feet into the alley, and extending a roof overhead.  As the story goes, all of this was done in a single weekend that the mayor was out of town on business, and when both City Hall and the Courthouse were closed.  This was supposedly done by Charles Weaver.  The only evidence to support this comes from the 1900 tax map, listing that a C. Weaver owned this parcel of land at that time.  It is more likely that this is Christian Weaver, who is listed in 1876 as having a boot & shoe shop on South Main Street "below Gambier," and "SHOE MKR" appears as the industry occupying this space in the 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of Mount Vernon.  It is unknown why this building was originally constructed, but it was later used as a small restaurant.  At one point in time, a small balcony extended from the 2nd story.

The upper facade is painted white and appears to have a thin layer of stucco, while the ground-level bricks have been left exposed.  The windows retain their original design elements.  The fanlights above these windows consist of six colored-glass panes.  The sills are executed in stone, while the lintels are semi-circular brick arches.  An interesting feature of this building is the pressed-metal cornice, which consists of two large brackets topped with conical points, and a semi-circular projection in the center of the building with two small horns.  The double-door storefront entrance and fanlight are recessed beneath a brick stilted arch on top of two square stone blocks.  Two additional stone blocks are aligned with the arch at ground level.  The decorative keystone at the top of the alcove entrance is cut out of stone, and resembles a lantern.  The top of this keystone looks like a thick chord of rope.  This keystone lantern is identical to that used by Henry Curtis at Round Hill and in the lintels of the original Hotel Curtis, with his monogram "H.C." inscribed in the center.

 


 

Downtown District

District Properties