Mount Vernon Post Office 

Address: 101 West High Street
Architectural Style: Georgian Revival
Year Built: 1932-1934
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: City of Mount Vernon

In the early years of the city, the post office moved from one location to the next as new postmasters were elected.  Typically, the postmasters were elected from any number of general store owners, who would designate a counter or corner of the store to serve as the post office.  The first official location on record for a post office in Mount Vernon is from 1809, in the general store of Postmaster Gilman Bryant, which stood on the corner of Main and Gambier Streets.  The post office did not earn its own individual place until 1875, when it occupied a single room located in a building on the corner where Plum Alley meets the Public Square, on the site where First-Knox National Bank currently stands.  However, this was not a permanent arrangement, and the post office continued to travel from one location to another as need for larger space demanded.  By 1897, the post office occupied a room located in the Masonic Temple, where it remained until 1916.  For a while, the post office resided in a larger rear room in a building located on the site of the former Kresge/Dowds-Rudin Building, on the corner of West Gambier Street and Plum Alley.  Sometime around 1930, this building suffered a disastrous fire, at which time the citizens of Mount Vernon decided it was time to erect an official post office building.

Local residents wanted the building to be larger than any built in an Ohio city of comparable size to Mount Vernon, and raised the funds needed to purchase an entire half city block for this purpose.  They chose a site on the northwest corner of West High and Mulberry Streets, which was occupied by dilapidated frame commercial buildings, as well as a small handful of residential properties.  Construction of the new post office began in 1932, in the then popular Georgian Revival style, and was completed two years later in 1934.  The Post Office features red brick walls accented with white stone quoins, a stone cornice with bas-relief balustrades, and other stone detailing along all facades.  A central cupola, with an urn at each corner of the base, tops this impressive edifice to further differentiate it from the surrounding commercial buildings.

When Mount Vernon constructed its new post office, it was following the larger Colonial Revival trend that swept across the United States beginning in the 1920s.  The city was so proud of its post office that, in 1939, Mount Vernon citizens decided to perpetuate its ties with George Washington's homestead, for which the city was named, by creating a plan to accent new construction and enhance existing buildings with Colonial architectural influences.  Because of this plan, Mount Vernon quickly became known as the Colonial City.

 


 

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