National Database Tops 2,000!

Just in time for the holidays, Mesker facades 2,000 through 2,006 come from Loogootee, Indiana. Among several brick fronts with various degrees of historic integrity, two adjacent buildings claim a higher level of pedigree. Originally purchased by Huebner Shirey & Co, the facades at 200 N. John F Kennedy Avenue and 105 Wood Street were featured in 1902, 1903 and 1905 George L. Mesker & Co. catalogs. Printed below the rendering of the buildings is a customer quote, which could not be more appropriate: “We like your work and your prices.” At least 2,000 others across the nation felt the same.

The Reynolds-Brooks Hardware Company Building at 105 N. JFK Ave in Loogootee, IN, features cast iron columns by George L. Mesker & Compay from Evansville, IN. It is one of several George Mesker facades in town. Image courtesy of Tourismguy.
Two buildings on the left of the photo feature cast iron and pressed metal ornamentation purchased by Huebner Shirey & Co. from George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of Tourismguy.
Rendering of the facades of Huebner Shirey & Co was shown in the 1902, 1903 and 1905 catalogs of George L. Mesker & Co. Virtually all components remain intact (see above).

Here are additional statistics regarding the 2,006 buildings that make up the database:

  • 1,128 by Mesker Brothers Iron Works (MB)
  • 863 by George L. Mesker & Co. (GLM)
  • 15 by both
  • 642 complete fronts, i.e. facades with sheet-metal panels above the storefront (517 MB, 121 GLM, 4 both)
  • 180 buildings demolished (111 MB, 68 GLM, 1 both)
  • 835 communities
  • 48 states (except Hawaii and New Hampshire)
  • 2 countries (USA and Canada)
  • Top five states are Illinois (773), Indiana (228), Missouri (137), Texas (115), and Kentucky (80).

While a daunting but achievable 3,000 facades is in distant future, there are several “1,000” milestones to look forward to along the way—George Mesker facades, complete fronts, Illinois facades, and total communities. Additionally, an example from New Hampshire would provide all continental states with at least one facade. 2012 will be a busy year!

Thank you to all who have contributed to the ongoing brothers Mesker research and let’s keep it going!

6 thoughts on “National Database Tops 2,000!

  1. The house we’re restoring in Petersburg, IN, was built in 1851-53 & originally had iron railing on both upper & lower porches. Although the porches were torn off several decades ago, the iron was salvaged. The docent at the Lanier Mansion in Madison, IN, said that much of the ironwork of that period was made in Madison, due to its access to shipping on the Ohio River. But today while reading an article in today’s Evansville Courier & Press, it occurred to me that they may have been made at Mesker’s Evansville plant. I would appreciate it if you could provide an image of any stamps that may have been used by Mesker Iron so we can determine where the railings were made.

    1. Hi Pam. The ironwork could have in fact come from any number of foundries in Indiana and Ohio, which was a center for much of iron work during that time. But because of the early date (1850s), I seriously doubt that it was supplied by the Meskers, unless it was installed at a later date. George L. Mesker & Co did not form until the mid-1880s. George’s father, John B. Mesker, did have a tin and stove shop in Evansville since the 1850s but I also think the date is too early for any of his architectural offerings and very little is know about his products during that time. There are no J.B Mesker catalogs in existence that I know of, and the earliest George L. Mesker catalog I’m aware of dates from 1892. If you’d like to see it, it’s available here: Page 21 shows iron cresting designs. Please let me know if any of these offers a match, but I think its a higher likelihood that the ironwork was supplied by someone else.

  2. Pingback: Mesker Magnets « Mesker Brothers

  3. Pingback: California Love « Mesker Brothers

  4. Pingback: 4,000th Mesker! | Mesker Brothers

  5. Pingback: 5,000th Mesker! | Mesker Brothers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.