Wednesday, April 21, 2021

More building history uncovered

 YESTERDAY STEVE HERRRINGTON and I were looking at a photograph taken in our Second String Music building back in the 1940s. Click here to look at the photo. We noticed on the top of one of our columns near the ceiling there appeared to be something painted around a gold frame.

Look what we found!
Steve works part-time for us, and as Sheryl is taking some time off this week, he and I have been talking about the building. Steve's father worked for Mercantile Bank for 60 years, and building was the home of Mercantile bank from 1905 to the early 1960s, with the main bank branch located on the main floor.

I've long wondered about the frames on the columns. They are covered in a brown cloth and I always thought it was maybe part of the bank's intercom system. There are eight of these frames on our main floor, with another possibly in the back.

So I took off the cloth on one of the frames by our front counter. Underneath was a piece of cardboard. And under the cardboard is a beautifully inscribed Mercantile Bank emblem. You can see the photo on the right. Amazing!

Why in the world would anybody cover these up? Perhaps an owner didn't want to be reminded of the bank. We also took off a plate in our 503 Maine space after we bought the building and discovered the Mercantile Bank sign above the bank vault.

The emblems appear to be hand-painted. If they were painted when Mercantile moved in, they'd be 115 years old. A couple of them aren't in good shape - somebody glued the cardboard to the surface, for some reason. We may leave a couple of them covered up to preserve them, but Steve and I will probably unveil the others today. 

You never know what you'll find in a 126-year-old building!

No comments:

Post a Comment