Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Mercer Museum

I've already blogged about Fonthill and Mercer Tiles, so now I thought I would show you the showcase of Henry Mercer. Built shortly after his home, Fonthill, he started work on a museum to house his numerous collections of art, tools and Americana. It is a museum, essentially, to the 'hand-made' everyday items that industrialization was pulling us away from. Before we had cars, stereos, ipods and mass-produced clothing and furniture, society had the items displayed here.The building is even more striking than his house. Constructed between 1913 and 1916, the museum reaches 7 stories. An open center atrium was designed to suspend large items and float them for guests to view. Small rooms and alcoves are off the main space with smaller exhibits. Where to look?! Interesting things everywhere! You could spend days here.Of course the building is built entirely of reinforced concrete, same as his other projects and contains over 50,000 artifacts!! The building was created a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

So much to see that it's hard to take it all in!!Here is a fireplace in the museum covered with the famous Mercer tiles.Unlike his home, these windows are framed RIGHT into the concrete, not into wood!

Again -you can visit the museum's website ONLINE. If you are ever in the Philedelphia area, you must visit! It's also a daytrip from NYC as a 2 1/2 hour drive.

9 comments:

DC David said...

This looks amazing. I have been to the house and the tile workshop but did not know about the museum. This is a must visit. Thanks for the mini tour.

Patricia Gray said...

It's hard to imagine a time before cars, stereos and ipods. Thanks for a peek at this historic museum.

Style Court said...

The windows are amazing and your previous tile post is great. The images you used really captured the depth and texture.

J.S. said...

Thanks for clueing us into Fonthill- cant wait to make the trip and see this bizarre house. By the way what is the story behind your new banner illustration its very beautiful!

ArchitectDesign said...

thanks everyone - visit if you can!!
JS - find out tomorrow about my new banner illustration in my planned post!

michelle said...

Love the new banner post..did you do the artwork?

maison21 said...

that is an amazing building! why have i never seen a photo of it before? thanks for introducing me to it!

Janet said...

It is such an outrageous building! Love it.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you've seen the 'new addition' (recently completed) ... but the architects, Voith & Mactavish (of Phila), completely and sadly missed the boat, ruining the exterior of the museum.