MOUNT VERNON — Originally constructed in the 1880s, the building at 218 S. Main St. has a whole new life in the 21st century. The downstairs is home to the Coleman Family Gallery, and the upstairs features a cozy apartment for short-term guests.
Vicki Herrick, who co-owns the structure with her husband, Robert Coleman, said the compact townhouse-style building is rumored to have been built in just one weekend when the then-mayor of Mount Vernon was out of town. The reason for the haste, she speculated, is that the construction site was an alley which, of course, no longer exists.
Coleman and Herrick have owned the building for about 12 years, renting it out to various businesses. They recently decided to follow their dream of operating an art gallery and renovated the downstairs to serve that purpose. The upstairs was then turned into a charming two-bedroom apartment which can be rented for special occasions.
“The last guests we had,” said Herrick, “was a couple from Germany who were here for their son’s graduation from Kenyon College. They said they liked the space. We also rented it over Christmas to a family that had extra people coming to town. They stayed a week.”
Fully furnished, the apartment features a compact step-saving kitchen, intimate sittng/dining area and cozy bedrooms. A short stroll away from the many attractions in downtown Mount Vernon, it also has off-street parking in the rear of the building, an enclosed courtyard and a separate private entrance.
Asked what makes second-floor apartments downtown so fascinating Herrick said, “I just think it’s fun to live downtown. Even in places like Columbus they are renovating old buildings and making them into lofts or condos.”