Stories From the Field

Post: Enduring Masonry in Oak Park

Saturday June 20, 2015

Adam about to start tuckpointing a portion of the 100-year-old terra cotta parapet wall.

For the next few weeks we are back in Oak Park working on a lovely double-courtyard brick and terra cotta condominium building constructed in the very early 1900s. It is always a pleasure working on masonry buildings of this vintage because the materials used were of the very highest quality and the building methods employed by the original masons were so fantastic. We consider structures erected immediately following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 through the 1920s to be some of the very best examples of masonry construction ever produced in the Midwest, a period during which enduring quality was of paramount importance. (These days, the drive for quality appears to have been supplanted by the drive for quick profit, as evidenced by all of the split-face block, engineered stone and brick veneer we see in newer masonry structures.)

In the photo at rightabove, Adam is about to start tuckpointing a portion of the 100-year-old terra cotta parapet wall. As you look at the edge of this parapet wall, you can see how each piece of terra cotta was hand-numbered by the original terra cotta fabricator a century ago. The edges of the terra cotta pieces will be covered up with closely matching wire-cut face bricks and tinted mortar as the rebuilding continues. Perhaps AAA-1 Masonry & Tuckpointing will have the opportunity to rebuild this parapet wall in another 100 years?

Whether your masonry structure is a century-old brick and terra cotta building like this one or a single-family home constructed in the last 20 years, we have the experience to diagnose and address your masonry issues. We look forward to working with you!

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