Permalac Seals the Deal, and That’s No Bull (or Bear)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Markets up, markets down; bear to bull, bull to bear.  Bronze effigies of these two majestic creatures have been used to represent the ever-changing balancing act of the stock market for hundreds of years.

Mention the stock market soaring, and an image of the bull comes to mind.  Markets down conjure up the bear in your mind’s eye.  Bronze likenesses of the bear and the bull are ubiquitous for anyone the least interested in the daily financial markets in New York, Chicago and St. Louis.

St. Louis you say?  While there is no stock exchange, the folks at Stifel Financial Corp. felt it necessary to commission one of America’s greatest giant sculpture masters, Mr. Harry Weber.

According to a blog article in the Wall Street Journal:

While St. Louis might not have famous pizza or an actual stock exchange, it does have barbecue and soon will have its own Wall Street bull. It’s even one-upping Wall Street by adding a measured force: a bear……..

The St. Louis based investment bank is in the process of closing a deal to acquire KBW Inc., a Manhattan-based investment bank to the banks and one of the firms most associated with the World Trade Center.

Stifel CEO Ronald Kruszewski says the growth in his city and his bank echo each other, but both stories remain underplayed because of New York’s dominance in banking. Stifel’s gone from 1,200 employees to 5,500.

“We have been growing like a weed,” Kruszewski says.

“I think if you would say the city is the second to New York, the idea to put some art on the ground … is appropriate,” Kruszewski said. “It isn’t like putting a bull and bear in an oil town.”

Why Permalac

I had a chance to speak with Harry Weber by telephone in preparation for the writing of this article, and quickly understood why he receives the huge amount of respect and recognition he deserves.  When I asked him about some of his projects, we spoke at some length of the Louis and Clark monument in the Mississippi River (yes, sometimes completely underwater), known as The Captain’s Return.  The placement of the monument commemorates the 200th anniversary of the return from Louis and Clark’s 2-year exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

“We use Permalac as a finish coat to protect our monuments from the ravages of weather and conditions particular to the site,” said Mr. Weber.  “In the case of The Captain’s Return, because the site is nearly exactly the spot where they landed, occasionally the sculpture gets completely submerged underwater.  Most of the time a portion of the piece is submerged constantly, so it is imperative it be protected from the harsh realities of nature. Permalac not only protects it better than other lacquers, it won’t discolor the patina of the piece,” he added.

“As for the commissioning of the Stifel piece, it took numerous sketches and drawings to come up with the right image. On Wall Street, the Bull signifies the upward mobility of the market. There is no bear.   In this case, the balance of the markets is in constant contest, with upswings and downturns.  Rather than a decisive winner of battle to decide a victor, the bear and the bull needed to reflect that constant struggle of the winners and losers in the marketplace.”

I also learned that over the course of his career, Mr. Weber has crafted more than 100 large sculptures, and an innumerable amount of smaller works. Although not all of his works possess the signature lacquer’s protection,  Perlamac is a big part of his finishing touch.

In this 20-minute video, Harry Weber chronicles the entire project. As you might imagine, the design and construction process of a 9000-pound sculpture is amazing to watch. The video is quite illustrative and informative (The Bull & Bear:  https://youtu.be/0GFEhG03JY4).

The originally published WSJ article: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/12/14/st-louis-to-get-its-own-bull-and-bear-statue/

Image Credit: Stifel Financial Corp.

Captain’s Return by Harry Weber and the use of Permalac  https://vimeo.com/85102911

Beer, Basketball, and Permalac

Did you ever have a relative that seemed to have an opinion on just about anything?  If so, you’ll be able to relate to this story.  If placing a label on just about everything is a foreign concept, you might enjoy learning about our latest project.  When it comes to a city known for beer and a basketball team, Permalac’s specialized matte finish needed some refinement to meet the architect’s specifications.

When the designer specifies a particular design feature to a building, it is often an opportunity for innovation.  And so it was with the new stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Because of our speed to market and having on-staff innovation specialists we were able to create an ultra-flat reformulation that met the demands of the project timeline and quality standard.  We therefore were the chosen awardee for the project.

Beer and Basketball

With nicknames like Miltown, Brew City, Milburg, The Mil, and most confusing, Cream City (more on this in a moment), surely there will come a new nickname with the completion of the new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks.  With its zinc panels encapsulating the structure, there’s no doubt that it will generate yet another moniker worthy of this striking façade. 

As for innovation, we’re not bashful when it comes to competition, nor to creating something unique.

“Permalac has a long history of protecting exterior metals.  For this project, the architects wanted an ultra-flat finish on the metal. Permalac has a matte finish, but they needed more than that.  We tweaked our formulation to adjust the sheen level and arrived at an ultra-flat that did the job.  We competed with a number of other products, but it was our willingness to move quickly and our flexibility that helped us win this project.”

The small section of panels in the photo above is merely for demonstration purposes, but the end of November should complete the entire structure’s exterior. All in all, there will be 317,000 square feet of metal panels covering the exterior.

Permalac’s ultra-flat finish will maintain the patina for decades to come.  However, this design didn’t come to fruition without some resistance. One critic likened the proposed structure to a giant taco.

The zinc touch will come during the summer. Those panels stirred some of the most passionate debate over the design of the arena, with some detractors saying they would give the arena a “Rust Belt” feel. Project designers, however, said the zinc panels can take on the look of wood or leather and will change appearance in varying degrees of light.

A sample of those panels is on display outside in the warren of pre-fab offices on the northeast side of the construction site along the Park East corridor. Up close, the panels have a sturdy, rough feel, with a ruddy bronze hue.

One of the most-asked questions about the project is will the zinc panels change color over time like copper or other metallic building finishes.

Callahan’s answer: Nope. “No noticeable change with age,” he said.

Frankly, I don’t see it, the giant taco that is.  However, to me it looks like a segment of an old, wooden beer barrel.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so the saying goes.  You decide.  We’re just proud to be part of this $500 million project.  For additional information and more photos of the project, go here.

Oh, getting back to the unusual nickname for Milwaukee; Cream City.  It seems that in the late 1830’s, newly constructed homes and businesses to be built included the local clay found on the western shore of Lake Michigan, which when molded into bricks and fired creates a creamy, golden yellow patina to the bricks.  They became so popular much of the Midwest began using them.  They were more resilient than others of the region, held their color, and were utilized for both private and public projects.  Many of Michigan’s remote lighthouses were constructed with Cream City bricks.

It’s amazing the name didn’t come from my great, great aunt Betsy.

Keywords: Permalac flat finish, Milwaukee Bucks, VM Zinc, zinc panels, wall panels

https://mgmcgrath.com/milwaukee-journal-sentinel-zinc-panels-coming-soon-new-milwaukee-bucks-arena/

https://mgmcgrath.com/portfolio/milwaukee-bucks-arena/

http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2017/03/22/walls-zinc-panels-coming-soon-new-milwaukee-bucks-arena/99203900/

www.vmzinc.com/

http://www.centriaperformance.com/products/wall_panel_systems.aspx

http://archive.jsonline.com/news/artcity-reaction-b99689721z1-372485931.html

https://mgmcgrath.com/portfolio/milwaukee-bucks-arena/

September Project: Printed Film on Wood

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Cradled Birth Wood
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Finished design with Permalac top coat

Kathleen sent in this project:

A digital design was printed on film & transferred to a cradled birth wood panel. A top coat of Permalac was applied for longevity & protection. Swarovski crystals were used to accent the design. For exhibits & customer satisfaction the art needs to be archival & have uv protection from the environment.