Barleywood Restoration

Barleywood Restoration

We are restoring the front door and a window of an antebellum solid brick house in Jefferson County, West Virginia.  The house is called Barleywood, and it is a beautiful Greek Revival home; still quite original. The door and window construction are still sound and...
Lime Mortar vs. Portland Cement

Lime Mortar vs. Portland Cement

Last week, I posted these pictures on Instagram of a repointing project at Saint Andrews Church in Roanoke.  Our masonry partner, Dominion Traditional, is doing the work.  The church has not been repointed in over 120 years, and the original lime based pointing is due...
Building Materials in China

Building Materials in China

 Ever since visiting Yunnan province, in China, I keep thinking about all the long lasting materials they were using.  In China, all of the buildings were built with traditional materials: stone, plaster, tile, and wood.  (The modern high rises and mediterranean style...
Visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing

Visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing

Beijing: My visit to China took me into The Forbidden City.  Completed in 1420, it was the seat of Chinese dynastic power for 500 years.  The buildings are beautiful and were constructed with the very best craftsmanship.  My focus turned to the clay tile roofing. ...
Caring about the spaces we inhabit

Caring about the spaces we inhabit

About 10 years ago, I took a trip to England to see my former boss, Ian Stalker. One of my goals was to see the construction methods, materials, and architecture used in Yorkshire.  Ian took me to see cathedrals and houses, from Ripon to York, and north to Hadrian’s...

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