Pike County

Mesker Brothers

The Mesker Brothers were based in St. Louis and manufactured iron storefronts for buildings across the nation.  They did most of the iron storefronts that you see on Laclede's Landing.  Today I was driving through Eolia, MO in Pike County and stopped by a store.  I noticed that this storefront was also built by Mesker Brothers.

Below is from the Illinois Historic Preservation Committee:

Many Main Street commercial buildings of the late 1800s and early 1900s reflect the widespread availability of mass-produced building parts, which ranged from individual components to entire building facades. While prefabricated architectural elements were available from a number of manufacturers, no other companies better exemplify this niche than the Mesker Brothers Iron Works of St. Louis, Missouri, and George L. Mesker Company of Evansville, Indiana. They specialized in ornamental sheet-metal facades and cast iron storefront components, which were ordered through catalogs and easily shipped by rail to any interested building owner. Their extensive product lines not only featured embossed sheet-metal panels and cast iron but also entire storefront assemblies, as well as tin ceilings, fences, skylights, and freight elevators.

“Meskers”, as they are called, are found across America. However, because the companies were based in the Midwest, they are particularly plentiful in Illinois and are part of the state’s rich architectural history. Made of galvanized steel and cast iron, these durable facades often survive, despite the occasional neglect and lack of maintenance. While not all buildings may feature elaborate sheet metal facades, individual building components, such as cornices and window hoods, are quite common throughout the state, especially in smaller communities. If your town has a Mesker facade, we would like to know about it. The goal of our ever-expanding Illinois database (PDF file) and this website is to recognize the historic significance of the Mesker companies in the shaping of our downtowns’ architectural fabric.

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2 thoughts on “Mesker Brothers”

  1. Francesca Catalini says:

    I believe I found a Mesker facade in Western Ks. It’s one I’ve never seen on any list

    1. Ted Wight says:

      Did you take any photos to share?

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