Monday, June 23, 2008

The facade comes down & the view from up top

Now you see you don't. The old brick face came down today. The image on the left shows the facade a couple of days ago and the one on the right is from today. It was sad that we had to lose it but there was simply too much spawling and with all the renovation work that's been done, it would have most likely gotten worse over time. She stood strong for over a hundred years but it was time to say goodbye. I would have liked to reuse these bricks but we couldn't because the new facade is taller and many of them were cracked already. The new brick face will be stronger and much straighter. We will be rebuilding the facade with locally salvaged bricks. The biggest challenge now is finding bricks that are as good as the ones that were in our original facade. They were turn of the century 'engineered' (very modular) bricks called "iron spots" and are highly sought after now. I have gone to at least 5 different salvage yards to look at bricks and none of them "stack up" to the ones we had. But I have another week or two before the new bricks needs to go up and I do have a few different people on the look out for me.

The brick portion of the facade is only two stories. The third floor facade (the wood framed area with the big window) will be getting a 'mansard' roof (a very steep sloped roof...almost more like a tilted wall). This is not yet constructed. A mansard roof at the highest story is a fairly common Philadelphia style facade element. [The main reason we decided to do a mansard here was due to the fact that most of the homes on this block of Montrose are two-story, so we were able to maintain the two-story scale of the street by keeping our cornice line and slightly stepping back a mansard at the third story.] This portion of the facade will be clad with a flat seam, folded panel product called Zalmag.
Zalmag custom-made panels have a service expectancy of a lifetime (or two). The panels have a unique galvanized coating on steel that consists of 1% Aluminum, 3% magnesium, and the rest is Zinc. It is made from 95% recycled material and is 100% recyclable. It weathers to a nice blueish-gray tone.

From the first and second floor looking out with no facade

The spectacular view from up top. The blue tarp in the bottom center of the image is our roof.

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