Full Metal Jacket

The below article appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of ‘The Alliance Review,’ a bi-monthly periodical with news relevant to local historic-preservation commissions and their staff, technical assistance, and case studies published by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC). The NAPC is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local historic preservation commissions … Continue reading

How about some wood with that?

Beyond metal, the Mesker companies offered nearly everything else needed to erect an entire commercial building façade, dubbed a “house front” and evoking 19th century nomenclature that referred to business entities as commercial houses. While their stamped and cast metal offerings intended to provide instant architectural pretense to the entire building, the storefront with its … Continue reading

The last word in modern construction

“Evansville’s new $175,000 Greyhound Terminal is not only the last word in modern construction but it is one of the most beautiful and imposing structures in this area. Contributing greatly to both of these outstanding points was the George L. Mesker and Company of Evansville. Fireproof construction and strength are clearly denoted by the terminal. … 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

(Not So) Heavy Metal

Product Report:Restoring Historic Metal Facades. The above is link to a new article by Gordon Bock for the Traditional Building Magazine. It profiles two Illinois projects, one being the facade transplant I was fortunate to be involved with a few years ago. The meticulous restoration of Louis Sullivan’s Carson Pirie Scott Building is also covered. … Continue reading

Don’t faint, it’s just paint

One of the most common questions I receive regarding galvanized sheet-metal facades is what constitutes a historically appropriate paint scheme. The question is simple enough but the answer is a bit more complex. I believe that there are three basic approaches, each with its own merits. The first approach revolves around the original intent of … Continue reading

Two Meskers Under One Roof

I hope we are experiencing a trend, because similarly to the previous post this Mesker is also undergoing rehabilitation. The Gowan Building (1898-1900) in Bainbridge, Georgia, was purchased in June of this year by the Downtown Development Authority with plans of developing apartments on the second floor and commercial/retail on the first floor. City Hall … Continue reading

No. 1800

Last week I received an e-mail from a building owner in Wisconsin, who wanted to let me know about his Mesker facade. Although the order in which I’m cataloging the Meskers is essentially irrelevant—since it is not connected in any way to original dates of construction—it is still nice to arrive at a milestone. Or … Continue reading