Like many other brick buildings in downtown Mount Vernon, the Smith-Hogle building was built after disastrous fires in the downtown in 1893 and 1894.
This building is an example of a merchant block, which is a single structure designed to hold two or more businesses. The recessed doorway at the center of the building allowed customers to “window shop” while standing under a roof. This type of recessed doorway, bordered by shop windows, also helped draw an otherwise casual window shopper into the store itself.
This building features some imaginative bricklaying, including columns that help to break the monotony of what could have been a flat brick wall.
The large windows on both the first and second floors let in natural light in the pre-electric light days in which the building was built. This building and others on the north side of the street featured awnings that protected merchandise, and customers, from the late summer sun.This building was once owned by Dr. George and Dr. Kate Hogle. Kate Mason Hogle was a Mount Vernon native and Cornell College graduate who went on to become a licensed physician at a time when very few women were. She spent time working in London where she met and married George Hogle in 1894. After their marriage, the couple moved to Mount Vernon and practiced medicine, at one time operating their own hospital in another building along First Street. Hogle combined her medical career with homemaking, serving on the local school board and active involvement in club, church and town affairs. Dr. Kate died in 1934 and Dr. George in 1935.