The Menger Hotel was built
in 1859 by W.A. Menger. It has now been designated a National Historic
Landmark. Designed by architect John Fries, the original two story
building occupies a prominent location on Alamo Plaza. Originally Menger
built a brewery here, and soon added a hotel. It has been added onto several
times through the years.
This is one of the cornice
intersections at the ceiling, under construction. The profile from an earlier
cornicework (probably turn of the century) was copied for the new ceiling,
and you can see it on the left (the image below shows it even better).
The brown area to the right is the roughed in work. The white area is run
in place, in one piece along the entire forty foot run. The profile tool
(shown below) stops without completing the cornice intersections. The intersections
are completed with another tool called a "mitre rod".
The image below shows
the profile tool used on this job. This profile projects from the wall
18", and drops from the ceiling 12". There is a quarter at the bottom of
the copper blade to give perspective on the size of this mold. The profile
is traced onto a sheet of copper, then rough cut with aviation snips, then
filed to produce the finish edge of the blade. Then the blade is attached
with screws to the plywood apparatus, as seen below. In use, wet plaster
and lime is applied to the roughed in substrate (seen in the top photo),
and this copper blade is pushed through, cutting the finished profile.
The top right bears on a plaster screed on the ceiling, and the lower left
edge bears against a screed on the wall, while it rides on a wooden strip
that is nailed to the wall (see the top photo).