David Kirkpatrick

February 4, 2008

Saving the Mercantile mosaics

Dallas’ Mercantile bank complex, with a tower from 1943 being one of the few skyscrapers erected during WWII, sat empty for a number of years and was purchased in the mid oughts for renovation and partial destruction — the demolition slated to befall later additions to the complex. At the eleventh hour, historical preservationists realized the area slated for demolition contained a large number of mosaics created by noted industrial designer Millard Sheets, fabricated in Venice and installed in the Mercantile in the late 1950s.

Two friends of mine — Michael van Enter of Studio van Enter and Wes Sorensen of Conservation Arts Group — won the bid to save these works of art. The project covered a few months in early 2006, and I helped in the process.

A number of groups joined forces to save the mosaics which are currently in storage awaiting reinstallation in Dallas at a later date.

(check out more information and some photos after the jump.)