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

There’s no point in hiding

In documenting historic buildings, Mesker and non alike, we always look for manufacturer identifications and original building owner names. To discover them is always exciting but since they are essentially signs, the only uncertainty lies in whether they survive and not whether they were intended to be seen. There are, however, other labels and inscriptions … 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

Columns in a cluster

One of several idiosyncratic features of galvanized upper story facades by the Mesker Brothers Iron Works is the pairing of columns between the windows. While this motif would have been a popular architectural feature and the inspiration for its use could have come from anywhere, Bernard Mesker nonetheless noted the idea on several printed plates … 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