It's a little early for the formal graduation portrait of Meyer Law Firm's new facade --- limestone finish work remains to be done, the steel beam that supports the cornice will be painted and there still was a big dumpster parked out front Thursday afternoon. But I'm loving the new brickwork executed by mason Mark Devilbiss and his crew, of Perry, during the last couple of weeks.
It's a relatively small facade with a lot going on, and I think the masons had fun doing it. The alternating herringbone and basket-weave pattern brick fills the gap between the rusticated brick of the lower facade, installed when attorney Virgil Meyer remodeled the building in 1969, and the support beam, part of the original facade. The cornice above the beam, with elaborate corbeling that thrusts it forward, was entirely rebuilt, replicating the original. All of this area previously was hidden by a shingled pent roof.
The pattern brick is framed by brick hand-rusticated by Devilbiss and his crew to match the brick of the 1969 portion of the facade. It's been a fairly amazing exhibition of just what skilled masons can do.
In a few weeks, a limestone cap will be applied to the cornice and an inscribed name stone inserted into the opening in the cornice left for it. As of last report, Ray Meyer hadn't decided exactly what the namestone will say --- so stay tuned.
Elsewhere on the square, preliminary work on buildings involved in the Facade Improvement Program continued (the Meyer Law Firm project is privately funded, the other project will be financed in roughly equal parts by a Community Development Block Grant plus owner and local government matches).
Early in the week, the rather odd looking frame structure that for many years had enclosed the exterior stairs on the 1883 Good Luck Building was removed, allowing that beautiful piece of craftsmanship to breathe again.
No one's quite sure how long that stair had been enclosed, but I don't remember ever seeing it --- although I probably wasn't paying attention when I was a kid.
You still can see the outline of the enclosure on the brickwork of the Good Luck's south facade.
On the north side, the shingled canopy on the Laing building, housing Adam Bahr's Edward Jones investment office, was removed on Thursday. As work on this building progresses a new street-level facade will be installed, a new permanent canopy erected, the second-floor window restored and the cornice repaired.