Saturday, July 19, 2008

Exterior Brickwork - Part 3

Finally, this is what we've been waiting for...

Remember that leaning wall on the southside of the house?

Here is the original southside wall (taken from the previous post):

Here's the new wall on the northside of the house:

Here's the original north wall:

As you can see, the condition of this wall was about the same as the south wall. Entire bricks and chunks of mortar were removable from both walls before they were torn down and reconstructed. See the mismatched cement (or concrete) used in a futile attempt to repair this wall?

Here's the restored north wall viewed from ground level:

Note that the stone edge of this wall is now evident.

Here's a closer view of the north wall at the stone edge:

Here's a closer look at the center of the north wall:

Here's a view of the north wall with the stone base shown:

Here's the edge of the south wall with a new gutter installed:

Here's a closer view of the brickwork:

Here's a view of the entire south wall, at least as much as I could get considering the close proximity of the two houses:

If you were to walk down the small alley on the southside of the house and turn the corner on your left, this is what you'd see:

I love that the exterior brick walls are now structurally sound for another 100 years, yet have retained that "old house" patina. Initially, the masons wanted to clean the bricks to make them look newer. We wouldn't have any of this. Instead, we had them make new bricks installed look just like the patinated, original bricks. Who says newer is better?

You might be wondering why the house next door was built so close to ours. Many of the houses in the latter part of the 1800's were built close together as Hannibal became more urban and population became denser. Also, close neighboring houses took advantage of heat contained within and radiating from brick and stone construction.
Folks were concerned with generating and retaining heat, particularly during the harsh winters in this part of the country.

Yet, heating a house in the 1890's was a laborious task. It required the women of the house to start the wood or coal-burning, cast-iron furnace and stove very early in the morning. The heat generated was expected to keep the main floors of the house warm for hours, and even an entire day.

One drawback to the neighborhood design of closely built housing was the potential for exacerbated spreading from a single house fire. Fortunately, this was never to happen in Hannibal's Millionaires Row.

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