March 31, 2015
Today marks ten years since we took up residence in our current building on the corner of Park Drive South and 1st Avenue. We moved in on 1 April 2005. Built in 1910 as the icehouse for the city of Great Falls (and so celebrating it’s 105th year!), this building has housed several different businesses over the years. To note the occasion, I want to give a little shout-out to two features that have, surprisingly, remained here through all of this building’s transformations–the doors to our conference room and common area/kitchen!
Installed as cold storage doors at 5-1/2 to 6 inches thick, both were built by the Bernard Gloekler Company in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (notice in the picture that the name of the city was not spelled as it is today, with the “h” at the end). Having started business in 1875 when Bernard Gloekler purchased an existing supplier of equipment to butchers and slaughterhouses, he eventually expanded the business into cold storage and restaurant, cafeteria, store and bar equipment. The company’s trademark (an eclipse) can still be seen on our conference room door.
Also in the photo is a metal marker noting two patents. Both patents were awarded to Bernard’s son, John E. Gloekler. The first patent listed was for the latches that were originally used with these doors. All that remains of these latches today are the levers. The second patent listed was for the original hinges that were used with both doors. Given how heavy the doors are and how long they’ve been in service, it’s not surprising that the hinges were replaced over time. However, the links provided will have diagrams of how the original devices looked.
So here’s to another ten-plus years of occupancy in this fabulous, long-lived building!