4,000th Mesker!

2,000th Mesker came in December, 2011 and #3,000 in June, 2013. Two years later we have documented the 4,000th entry into the worldwide Mesker facade database. The Hertz Bros. Hardware Store, located at 46 Main Ave in New Leipzig, North Dakota, features a complete building front by George L. Mesker & Co. including cast iron storefront columns, wooden storefront, and a highly decorative galvanized sheet-metal upper story and cornice. The cornice wraps around the corner and continues along the entire side elevation. Rendering of this impressive facade was featured in the 1911 George L. Mesker & Co. catalog; it was purchased by F & E Lumber Co. With the exception of a few blocked window openings, the facade is remarkably intact and nearly identical to its catalog likeness (which isn’t always the case). The building is only the third Mesker identified in North Dakota.

F & E Lumber Co. Building, New Leipzig, North Dakota. Rendering from 1911 George L. Mesker & Co. catalog.

Hertz Bros. Hardware Store, New Leipzig, North Dakota. Rendering from 1911 George L. Mesker & Co. catalog, indicating that the facade was purchased by F & E Lumber Co.

Hertz Bros. Hardware Store (c. 1910), 46 Main Ave., New Leipzig, North Dakota. Cast iron columns, wooden storefront, and galvanized sheet-metal facade and cornice manufactured by George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of flickr member ovoviviparous.

Hertz Bros. Hardware Store, New Leipzig, North Dakota. Image courtesy of flickr member afiler.

Hertz Bros. Hardware Store, New Leipzig, North Dakota. Image courtesy of flickr member afiler.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to announce the milestone during the 2015 Illinois Main Street and Historic Preservation Conference in Carbondale, Illinois. Since ‘got mesker?’ is about historic resources in downtowns and this year’s statewide conference for the first time combined Main Street and preservation, it seemed especially appropriate to make the announcement during the event. After all, ‘got mesker?’ was publicly launched as an Illinois-based initiative at a statewide historic preservation conference 11 years ago, in Grafton, Illinois.

Image courtesy of Frank Butterfield, Landmarks Illinois.

Update on the ‘got mesker?’ initiative and the announcement of the 4,000th Mesker were made during the 3-minute success stories at the closing plenary for the 2015 Illinois Main Street and Historic Preservation Conference in Carbondale, Illinois. Image courtesy of Frank Butterfield, Landmarks Illinois.

Here are the statistics regarding the 4,000 buildings that make up the database (it’s interesting to compare these to the previous milestones):

  • 2,253 by Mesker Brothers Iron Works (MB)
  • 1,718 by George L. Mesker & Co. (GLM)
  • 23 by both
  • 6 by J.B. Mesker & Son (JBM)
  • 1,344 complete fronts, i.e. facades with sheet-metal panels above the storefront (1,068 MB, 271 GLM, 4 both, 1 JBM)
  • 610 buildings demolished (421 MB, 185 GLM, 1 both, 3 JBM)
  • 1,667 communities (867 MB, 542 GLM, 258 both)
  • 49 states (except Hawaii)
  • 2 countries (USA and Canada)
  • Top five states are Illinois (920), Indiana (561), Missouri (294), Texas (278), and Kentucky (165).

Thank you to all who have contributed to this identification effort. Special thanks go to Roger Waguespack and James Whitlow who submitted numerous examples, many from remote locations that I would not have been able to find otherwise.

The search for #5,000 has already begun. It may take a couple of years, but it will be done!

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Comments
2 Responses to “4,000th Mesker!”
  1. Timothy hertz says:

    Actually it has been the Hertz Bros. Hardware store since it was built. The inside still has the tinwork and archetecture to match the outside Have some great interior pictures of it soon after it was built.

    • Thank you for the correction – F & E Lumber Co. must have purchased the facade from Mesker for Hertz Bros. Great to hear about the interior; perhaps the metalwork inside is also by Mesker. Can you share the photos you mentioned? I’d be happy to include them with this post.

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