Friday, February 11, 2011

Mt. Dora's Bookstore Facade

Mount Dora is one of my favorite hidden gems in Central Florida. It's so quaint and artsy and everywhere you go, there's something really cool that catches your eye.

I have been in love with this storefront facade since I first saw it. It's one of those pieces of art that just endears itself to you. At first glance it looks real, but upon closer inspection you realize it's actually sculpture. Sculpture on the entire facade of what used to be the Dickens-Reeds bookstore/coffeehouse on Fifth Avenue. Apparently the couple that owned the bookstore commissioned an artist to create it in the late 1990's. It's so cool, something you really should see for yourself.

I did some online searching and discovered that the artist was sculptor Thomas Merrell. He worked with a mortar and bonding compound, creating bas-relief scenes that become a part of the building. From what I've gathered, he employed the help of four young area artists to create the hundreds of individual elements that make up four panels, each 10 feet tall and 7 feet wide. Each panel contains a gothic-arch window opening, surrounded by busts of famous writers, and shelves containing objects such as a telephone or a globe and LOTS of books. 
''When you put something up that everyone can share, that's humanity. Art shouldn't be kept in museums. It should be out in the public where people can see it. It should be considered a part of daily life.''  ~ sculptor Thomas Merrell


  1. I can't wait until we can actually make it back to Mt. Dora with you! These are really cool!

  2. Would love to see this. Golly, I miss you guys!

  3. I've lived in Florida for 14 years now, and I've yet to make it to Mt. Dora! Love the pictures and glad I can live vicariously through you!

  4. Sad news. I was in Mt. Dora last Friday (22 July), and the book store is closed. The sculpture remains.