The McKay Lodge Conservation Lab conserved a mosaic by Barbara Jo Revelle, titled The Alternative History of Fort Myers. The 100 foot wide tile mural is composed of approximately 297,600 colored tiles forming a composite of historical images of Fort Myers history. The $92,892.00 treatment was completed in February 2015.
The tile mosaic mural measures approximately 100 feet wide and 20 feet, 8 inches tall. It is installed on 13 concrete wall panels with 1 inch wide vertical expansion joints, 12 vertical expansion joints in all. At the viewer’s left-most side, there is a 4 foot wide concrete panel. Thereafter, there are twelve 8 foot wide panels. There are 13 concrete panels in all with 12 vertical expansion joints completely covered with tiles.
The wall is covered with approximately 248 tiles vertically (1 inch square) and approximately 1,200 tiles in the horizontal direction. The total number of tiles is therefore approximately 297,600. Determining an exact number of tiles was complicated because quite a number of 1 x 1 inch tiles were actually composed of 4 ¼ inch tiles.
There were many places where tiles were not bonding, especially over all of the expansion joints. And many tiles were lost and needed replacements. After considerable mock-up experiments, a solution to keeping tiles bonded over expanding and contracting joint was developed at McKay Lodge, Inc. The treatment involved removing all tiles over the expansion joints and reinstalling them over the joints in a way that expansion and contraction can occur without causing disbonding or obvious vertical lines.