• You’re here because you love Meskers*. Welcome!

    *5,320 buildings in 2,224 communities
    (updated November 13, 2019)

    Latest update includes buildings from Chicago (IL).

South Carolina’s 101 Mesker fronts

When we document at least 100 buildings with Mesker building products in a state, we celebrate it here. It’s a chance to provide some historic statistics and to acknowledge good Mesker examples that might otherwise go unrecognized. The latest to join the 100+ club (now 18 states in total) is South Carolina with 101 Meskers. … Continue reading

The Largest and Most Complete Establishment

It is the principal of marketing to extol one’s virtues, including a healthy amount of exaggeration, therefore it should come as no surprise that the Mesker companies touted their products as the most modern and affordable solutions for commercial building facades on the market. It also stands to reason that such remarkable goods had to … Continue reading

Drop ornament story

A simple and diminutive floral motif by Mesker Brothers Iron Works—referred to only as “ornament no. 800” in Ben’s Bible—is less decorative than most of its brethren, but proved to be more versatile. Majority of Mesker motifs, and classically inspired motifs in general, are either bilaterally symmetrical (mirrored on a central axis) or radially symmetrical … Continue reading

5,000th Mesker!

Mesker #2,000 came in December, 2011, #3,000 in June, 2013, and #4,000 in June, 2015. Three years later and fourteen years since the launch of the ‘got mesker?’ initiative through the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (now the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Natural Resources), the 5,000th building with Mesker-manufactured components has … Continue reading

The Heart of It All (or at least 129 Meskers)

The 100-Mesker club has a new member—Ohio. Perhaps not so new, as the 100 mark was reached some time ago, but additional Ohio discoveries just kept coming, preventing this write up from appearing sooner. Historically, Ohioans purchased a not insignificant amount of Mesker products, ranking 13th nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 1,230 facades. … Continue reading

Wrought iron sash originators

To meet growing customer demand for fire-retardant products, in the early 1900s Mesker Brothers Iron Works began to offer fireproof hollow metal windows. In the early 1910s, the product line was extended to include solid section steel industrial sash and casements although the windows remained a minor component among a myriad of still primarily galvanized … Continue reading

2,000th town with Meskers—Tuscumbia, Alabama

At least 2,000 communities in North America have or had Mesker facades. How’s that for impact? It took nearly six years to discover and document the last 1,000 communities, but the latest with at least one confirmed (extant or extinct) Mesker is Tuscumbia, AL. The brick front at 116 S. Main St, featuring cast iron … Continue reading

Mighty in Michigan

There are a lot of Mesker fronts in the Midwest. The latest proof is Michigan, now officially with over 100 identified Meskers. Historically, Michiganders purchased quite a few Mesker products, ranking 15th nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 1,041 facades. Fronts supplied by Mesker Brothers Iron Works netted a total of $44,739.16 in receipts … Continue reading

“Pedlarized”

The evidence of Mesker storefronts’ enormous popularity is that they were widely imitated. Thanks to the Association for Preservation Technology’s Building Technology Heritage Library, an impressive and ever expanding online collection of building trade catalogs, another Mesker imposter has been identified. The 1911 and 1914 catalogs of the Pedlar People, Limited of Oshawa, Canada, show … Continue reading

Side by side

On a recent trip to Galena, Illinois, I had the pleasure to once again observe the J.G. Schmohl Building with its superb galvanized sheet-metal front (two actually) by Mesker Brothers Iron Works, as well as the adjacent building with cast iron columns by George L. Mesker & Co. Seeing the work of the brothers side-by-side … Continue reading