H.A. Collins built this fine example of 19th century commercial architecture as a bank in 1891, and the words “Bank 1891” are still clearly visible near the roof. Collins died the next year, and the building was quickly bought by Charles Brackett, who reopened it as a clothing store, which he ran until he retired in 1898.
Brackett was a native of New York state who had come to Mount Vernon in 1874 to study at Cornell College. Beginning in 1876, Brackett ran a meat business in partnership with his father, James. Charles Brackett was a nephew of William Brackett, a builder who was responsible for the construction of many Mount Vernon buildings, including King Chapel on the Cornell College campus.In later years the owner of the Mount Vernon Sun newspaper bought this building for an office. Very few changes had been made to the building exterior. The new owner discovered the original colored glass windows above the front doors and center window, which had been covered by a false façade and dropped ceiling. They were returned to their original grandeur. The original building also touted an elaborate “wedding cake” cap of limestone and brick at the top. This was once a common feature on many buildings in the downtown. The upper most stones have been removed.