Thursday, November 9, 2017

6956 N. Clark, ornamental detail

I've always admired this building, with its projecting bay and round-top windows.  Standard
rectangular windows have been inserted into those great arched openings, but that's not unusual.  The brick work is amazing.  The mason must have honed the brick by hand to get the correct wedge shapes for the window arches.  Silvered roofing material has been used to waterproof the area between the parapet and the cornice.  Not ideal,  but at least the cornice hasn't been ripped off and parged with concrete like so many others.  I'm also impressed that the bay hasn't been reclad with vinyl or aluminum.  There are plenty of examples of that on Clark Street.

6969 N. Clark, ornamental detail

Here's another illustrated detail of two adjacent rooflines on Clark Street.  This type of stepped gable is a bit unusual in Chicago.  And it's in really poor shape.  I rendered the joints as black not because that's the appropriate color, but because all of the mortar has been washed out.  The black is just a shadow line.    I don't expect them to be repaired until they start to crumble onto pedestrians below...But I have to admit, there's a certain satisfaction in restoring the parapet, even if it's just with pixels.

The building next to it has these great rough-textured bricks, but has been so poorly re-pointed as to lose the elegance of the joint patterns.  If you ever see someone re-pointing masonry without carefully grinding out the old mortar you're witnessing a ridiculous waste of time and money.