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FISCHER AND JIROUCH

FISCHER AND JIROUCH is a nationally known maker of decorative architectural relief sculpture. The company was established in 1902 and incorporated in 1909 by two sculptors, George J. Fischer (1876-1958) and FRANK L. JIROUCH (1878-1970). The firm specialized in ornamental plasterwork for buildings, but also did wood carving and produced cast stone architectural items, as well as garden, conservatory, and hall furniture. Since the early 1910s the firm has been located at 4821 Superior Ave.

The firm did sculptural work primarily for public buildings, theaters, and churches. Examples of their craft could be found in the PALACE THEATERS, and the Union Commerce Bank. They also worked on a number of WALKER AND WEEKS buildings, including the Pearl St. Savings & Trust, the United Banking & Trust Bldg. at West 25th and Lorain, the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, and the Superior Bldg.

After years of slow but steady growth, business declined for the company from 1930-47. The firm thereafter utilized only one-half of their original space, and also eliminated an elaborate showroom in the building. The company was sold in 1956 to Theodore Takacs, a 28-year employee of the company.

By 1975 Fischer and Jirouch was 1 of only 6 ornamental plasterworks remaining in the U.S.; in 1995 the firm was 1 of 2. Corrado Mattei and Louis Cretoni, two Italian-born craftsmen who had worked at Fischer and Jirouch since the 1950s, purchased the firm in 1977. Fischer and Jirouch has also specialized in producing motion picture sets for such films as Age of Innocence and Bronx Tale.