Master Preservationist Program-Day Three. Getting in the Guts

Bricks.  I discovered I have a fascination with bricks - the patterns, the mortar, the construction....But more on that later. On Day 3 of the Master Preservationist Program, we studied Building Technology, or as I like to call it, "getting in the guts."  One of the purposes of studying building technology is so you can better understand the various parts of a structure and the construction of it, so you are able to date it and bring context to the home's history.  Kris King, of King Preservation Management, was our instructor today, and he is also the owner of 28 Montagu St (see video below). It ...click to read more...
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4 Responses to Master Preservationist Program-Day Three. Getting in the Guts

  1. Steve Elkins says:

    That video was music to my ears listening to someone actually mention lime mortar, and discouraging the use of portland cement in a historic structure. The lining or painting of the mortar joints was known as penciling. Just as you mentioned early brick making by hand with a wooden mold left brick with uneven edges or arris. To give the bricks a more uniform and refined appearance the mortar joints were “struck and ruled”. After the walls were completed they were sometimes painted or color washed with typically a red color wash. The color wash gave the wall a uniform appearance. The “ruled” mortar joints were then penciled with a white paint which was sometimes a mixture calcium carbonate (chalk), white lead, animal glue and water. These contrasting colors gave the illusion of fine brick work. Namely pressed brick with thin mortar joints also known as butter joints.

    I’m sure some people think I’m crazy as I like to get up close and personal with bricks and mortar when I’m in a historic city.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article and video.

    • Thanks for your comment Steve! It’s nice to know someone else has the same fascination with bricks as I do! Regarding portland cement…because it is a different consistency than the bricks, using it to ‘shore up’ a structure actually harms it rather than helps it, as it will not expand/contract at the same rate as the brick, wouldn’t you agree?

  2. Pingback: Master Preservationist Program-Day 4. Analyzing the Architecture | Charleston InsideOut

  3. Pingback: Master Preservationist Program-Day Four. Analyzing the Architecture - Charleston Inside Out

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