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FLW and mortar joints questions
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5994
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: FLW and mortar joints questions Reply with quote

The more I see FLW (and related) homes, the more I really enjoy and appreciate those with the recessed, raked horizontal mortar joints along with the flush head joints that have the mortar color to match the brick.

Does anyone know what home he first used this combination (raked horizontal + flush head w/ matching color) on?

Also, was he the innovator of this technique?


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Robie house (1906-1909):





The brick is 1 5/8' x 11 5/8", made in St Louis, costing $26. per thousand (corrected from $35.)

Here's Wright's specification:

". . .horizontal joints wide and white, vertical joints narrow and colored to match brick. Horizontal joints raked out as approved."

B+W close-up and specs as published in ''The Robie House of Frank Lloyd Wright"; Joseph Connors; The University of Chicago Press, 1984
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5994
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot, SDR - terrific pictures, too.

I did a bit of internet digging and it looks like the Darwin Martin House (1904) has raked and possibly matching head joints (shown here during restoration in photos from their website):





And Dana-Thomas (1902) appears to also have raked w/ matching head joints (shown here in a picture from peterbeers.net):





Is it possible that Walter Gale (1893) might be the first? Though it's tough to tell from this picture, it looks like it may have raked w/ matching head joints (photo from peterbeers.net):




David
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therman7g



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 261
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Walter Gale House Reply with quote

That's wood stripped of paint I do believe.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3741
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walter Gale is a wooden house except for the brick pillar with the address on it which does not look raked.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin -- excellent example.

Here's something different: Stockman (1908)



Photo ©Christian Korab
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5994
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Walter Gale House Reply with quote

therman7g wrote:
That's wood stripped of paint I do believe.


Paul Ringstrom wrote:
Walter Gale is a wooden house except for the brick pillar with the address on it which does not look raked.


Thanks for straightening me out on that - was tough to tell much from the photo.


I just took a look in the Storrer Catalog and the Francis W. Little House (1903) looks like it may have raked mortar joints - though it's rather tough to tell from the photos in the book. I tried looking for better pics of the home online and came up empty. Storrer has it listed as (070) vs (072) for Dana-Thomas. Could this then be his first usage of raked w/ flush head joints?


SDR - great photos. It looks like flush mortar all around with possible matching mortar color on the head joints, though?


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that's right, David.

It's a worthy and interesting quest: when was the first use of this pattern of brickwork.

I'm fond enough of this detail to have used it in some of my work.



Particle board and paper -- an old mock-up that has mellowed nicely,
to my eye, lighted 24/7 by a 15 watt bulb. . .
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5994
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR - that's a wonderful look and design. Have you ever executed it in brick?


So far, this is the closest look I've found online for the Little House. It's tough to tell from the photo but it looks like the mortar may be flush with the brick. And, it appears as if it is uniform in color throughout - as opposed to matching the brick color at the head joints. (picture from mcnees.org):




David
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1351
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patterson's FLlW and the Meaning of Materials has a lot of detail on questions like this. You might check it out.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Reidy.

Here's Donald Hoffman's photo of Robie brick, c 1984, identified as "south front."
Above and below some of the vertical joints can be seen nicks (a row of them are
on the right side of the image), indicating, to me, previous removal of mortar in the
vertical joints, via powered grinder.

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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7615

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TnGuy, Walter Gale is out of the running; the brickwork on the porch is of recent vintage. The original porch was demolished years ago and has been restored. I doubt existing photos of the original would be clear enough to show detail that fine.
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5994
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reidy wrote:
Patterson's FLlW and the Meaning of Materials has a lot of detail on questions like this. You might check it out.


Thanks, Reidy. I don't happen to have a copy (yet). But if someone would like to play 'research detective' between now and the day when I do end up with one, please feel free to add to the discussion.


Roderick Grant wrote:
TnGuy, Walter Gale is out of the running...


Yes. I wasn't able to tell from the above photo that the siding was wooden, not brick. It's looking (at the moment, at least) that Dana-Thomas may be the first home with raked w/ flush head joints.


SDR wrote:
Here's Donald Hoffman's photo of Robie brick...


A few years back I remember seeing on the Robie House web site that they were selling original bricks as part of a fund-raiser (and it appears they still are):

"Own an original Robie House brick
You can purchase an authentic Robie House brick from a limited number of the home's original bricks that could not be incorporated into our restoration work. Complete with commemorative plaque, certificate of authenticity and history, each rust-colored, iron-spotted, kiln-fired brick is a distinctive piece of this architectural icon. Contact us at 708.848.3440 to order your brick.

Dimensions 6"W x 4"H x 1-1/2"D $250
"


Is it just me, or does anyone else see this as rather flying directly in the face of their stated slogan of: "restore.preserve.inspire."? (see: top left of Robie House web page)


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These sound like half-bricks ? I suppose they would have been cut to deal with corner conditions, etc. If they really were redundant in reconstruction/restoration, then their best (re)use be to raise finds. . .?

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliment, TnGuy. No, I haven't had the opportunity
to go further with my lantern or brickwork, but did explore the cons-
truction of the lantern.





The louvers might be made of ceramic, in which case they would look
like the pieces above. These would be stacked to the desired height,
with clear or frosted square "spacer rings" -- ideally of cast glass, and
with a removable top pyramid of the same materials (frosted or
opaque) or of copper. The stacked parts could be cemented together
with clear silicone, if desired.

SDR
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