The Sight and Sounds of Gladding, McBean
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The Gladding, McBean factory, plunked right down in the middle of the town of Lincoln, has been creating world-class terra cotta pipes, facades, sculptures and art for 140 years.
Blessed with a huge cache of some of the world’s finest clay (which is expected to last for another 350 years), Gladding, McBean has created works of art that adorn buildings from Los Angeles, to San Francisco, to Chicago and New York. If you have admired an Art Deco era building in any of these cities, chances are Gladding, McBean created the edifice, the gargoyles, the cladding on these beautiful buildings. The original molds made in the early 1900’s still rest on pallets and easels or take over an entire corner. The RCA Victor logo sits where it has sat for over 70 years. The original bee hive kilns built in the 1880’s stand silent next to identical, but newer versions which are still in use, firing the pipes, facades and statuary for which this wonderful company is famous. Although time appears to have stood still, Gladding, McBean is still very much an active company. The drafting room has gone from pencils to sophisticated CAD computers and 3D printers, but it is still recognizably the original drafting room. And fortunately for us, Gladding, McBean believes that our 114 year old shed is a great place to display their pottery. No ordinary pottery, these are pieces meant to be handed down as heirlooms for generations. The pieces are solid; the detail intricate and the glazes are absolutely gorgeous.