100th Mesker discovered in Georgia

Georgia’s 100th building with Mesker building components was identified some weeks ago. Hence, this customary celebration of “states with at least 100 Meskers”—which now number 21—is overdue. Below is a brief summary of Meskers’ historic output in the state and a look at the 100 buildings found to date.

Historically, Mesker companies sold a considerable amount of building facades and related products in the Empire State of the South, which ranked 22nd nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 828 buildings. Products supplied by Mesker Brothers Iron Works yielded a total of $46,944.18 in receipts between 1885 and 1908 for approximately 355 facades, ranking 27th nationwide. Mesker’s best year in Georgia was 1906, with $5,718.28 in net receipts. This success was undoubtedly aided by 116,588 catalogs that Mesker distributed in the state between 1888 and 1909 (18,000 in 1908 alone), which was 11th best in the country. George L. Mesker & Co.’s output in the state was even better—according to the 1915 catalog, the company sold 473 facades in the state, which was 13th highest in the nation.

Here is the breakdown of the 100 facades identified so far in Georgia (download the Excel inventory for a complete listing):

  •  45 by Mesker Brothers Iron Works (MB)
  •  54 by George L. Mesker & Co. (GLM)
  • 1 with elements from both companies (both)
  •  26 complete “house fronts” (24 MB, 2 GLM)
  •  7 demolished (4 MB, 3 GLM)
  •  38 buildings are one-story (15 MB, 23 GLM), 58 are two-story (27 MB, 30 GLM, 1 both), and 4 are three-story (3 MB, 1 GLM)
  •  55 towns (21 with MB, 28 with GLM, 6 with both)—most surviving facades can be found in Cuthbert (7)

Below are some favorite examples of surviving Meskers from the Peach State (selected from available photos), appearing alphabetically by town:

Central Block, on Public Square, Adairsville, GA. Impressive “house front” by Mesker Brothers Iron Works. Image courtesy of Flickr member bamaboy1941.
Gowan Building, 127-131 Water Street, Bainbridge, GA. Cornice is by Mesker Brothers Iron Works and (then newly uncovered) cast iron columns by George L. Mesker & Co. This rare combination of both Meskers on one facade is the only one known in Georgia. Image courtesy of Amanda Glover.
Jackson G. Smith/Barnesville Buggies, 116 Main Street, Barnesville, GA. Cornice, window hoods, and columns by Mesker Brothers Iron Works. The tall triangular pediment lends this one-story building impressive proportions. Image courtesy of Flickr member MJRGoblin.
Carter Drugs, 203 Main Street, Barnesville, GA. Very nice example of a Mesker Brothers’ iron front. Image courtesy of Flickr member MJRGoblin.
W.H. Alexander Building, on the square, Blakely, GA. Sheet-metal cornice and window hoods by George L. Mesker & Co. Rendering of the building was featured in Mesker’s 1904 (general) and 1905 (testimonial) catalogs. Image courtesy of Flickr member MJRGoblin.
U.S. Post Office & Courthouse (1933), 120 12th Street, Columbus, GA. Designed by E. Oren Smith-Edwards & Sayward, with metal windows by Mesker Brothers Iron Company. Image of the building was featured in 1938 and 1939 catalogs. Image courtesy of Flickr member Robby Virus.
On E. North Avenue, Comer, GA. Three-story building on the left features a “full metal jacket” by Mesker Brothers Iron Works, while the building on the right has cast iron columns by George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of Flickr member Traveled Roads.
Hill Brothers Building, 107 W. Court Square, Greenville, GA. A somewhat late (1913) installation of Mesker’s galvanized sheet-metal facade with the baroque-inspired dolphin or fish panels between the upper story windows. The building has since been repainted. Image courtesy of Flickr member Chance Cunningham.
123 N. Hill Street, Griffin, GA. The building in the foreground features cornices and window hoods made by Mesker Brothers Iron Works. Image courtesy of Flickr member exithacan – In Memoriam.
140 W. Hancock Street, Milledgeville, GA. Wonderful sunflower detail from a cast iron column by George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of Flickr member drivebybiscuits1.
735 Carroll Street, Perry, GA. A complete galvanized sheet-metal facade by Mesker Brothers Iron Works, with the undeniably-Mesker dolphin or fish panels. Image courtesy of James Whitlow.
Merchants and Farmers Bank, 312 E. Screven Street, Quitman, GA. Although the building does feature cast iron columns by George L. Mesker & Co., the real attraction is the intricate, stone upper facade. Image courtesy of bamaboy1941.
Knox Block (1899), 119-133 S. Cherokee, Social Circle, GA. Three adjacent buildings with cast iron columns, cornices and window hoods manufactured by George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of Flickr member bamaboy1941.
Rendering of the Knox Block as it appeared in the 1902, 1903, and 1905 testimonials catalogs by George L. Mesker & Co. It still looks the same!
125 Head Avenue, Tallapoosa, GA. If you can’t recognize the Mesker here, there’s nothing I can do for you… Image courtesy of Flickr member bamaboy1941.
118 S. Broad Street, Thomasville, GA. Galvanized sheet-metal cornice and window hoods by Mesker Brothers Iron Works. Image courtesy of Flickr member Krasivaya Liza.
244-246 Second Street E, Tifton, GA. Cast iron columns, sheet-metal cornices (lintel and main), and window hoods by George L. Mesker & Co. Image courtesy of Flickr member MJRGoblin.

One thought on “100th Mesker discovered in Georgia

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.