Columnar paradox

It is the Mesker spotter’s curse—he cannot traverse a historic downtown or Main Street without examining the buildings for traces of their work. He does this whether he has time or not, whether alone or with company, on business or for pleasure (oh, how his family suffers). The rewards come often, but then again so … Continue reading

Crescent City Rivals

Meskers had many competitors over the years. Some were imitators, with varying degrees of success, while others were innovators in their own right. But only one competing enterprise was begun by three former employees of George L. Mesker & Co. The International Steel & Iron Construction Company of Evansville, Indiana (and later Chicago, Illinois) was … Continue reading

Mississippi Found

In order to be considered a “Mesker Magnet,” my invented though no less official designation for towns with sizable groupings of Mesker facades, a community must have at least ten surviving examples (or nine really cool ones, as in the original list from just over a year ago). During a recent road trip, a fellow … Continue reading

Mesker Brothers column base replicas

Earlier this year I wanted to explore replicating Mesker Brothers Iron Works column bases, with the idea of complimenting the middle ornament that’s already available in cast aluminum, and eventually completing a set of all three ornamental pieces for a six-inch wide column. Each base is a separate attachment bolted to the column, and serves … Continue reading

Supporting cast

Mesker Brothers Iron Works may be best known for their ornamental upper facades of galvanized pressed metal, but perhaps their most inventive architectural offering was to be found at the storefront level. While the overwhelming standard in the storefront construction industry were columns made of cast iron, Mesker Brothers designed and patented columns made of … Continue reading

2,500th Mesker—or is it?

It may be in name only, but this storefront at 107-109 Water Street in Belton, Texas, is indeed the 2,500th Mesker facade to be entered into the national database. Despite the nameplate identifying the maker as Mesker & Brother from St. Louis, Missouri (same as Mesker Brothers), the company did not manufacture these columns but subcontracted them … Continue reading

Mesker in St. Louis?

Earlier this week a Mesker storefront was identified at 4273 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, Missouri. This shouldn’t be a surprising discovery in the hometown of Mesker Brothers Iron Works. But it is. The storefront is only the second extant Mesker example in St. Louis. More interestingly, it is by the George … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading